Forest appeared to be on course to secure another away victory after Jack Robinson headed them into an early lead but they had to settle for a point.
The visitors were incensed as Roofe appeared to bundle the ball home with his arm yet they were fortunate to escape with a share of the spoils from a game Leeds dominated from start to finish.
Buoyed by Wednesday's welcome win over Ipswich, Leeds made a fast start and had an early chance when Mateusz Klich lost his footing with the goal gaping after Costel Pantilimon spilt Adam Forshaw's cross.
But it was Forest who opened the scoring on 12 minutes, Robinson beating Bailey Peacock-Farrell with a downward header from Joe Lolley's corner.
Leeds responded positively, with Pablo Hernandez having a deflected effort turned behind and Roofe volleying wide from close range.
United suffered a big blow when right-back Luke Ayling went off injured and Matty Cash threatened to leave them with an improbable task when he took aim in the box, only to lash his shot wide.
Leeds continued to press for an equaliser as half-time approached, with Ezgjan Alioski just failing to get on the end of Hernandez's scuffed strike and Forshaw narrowly missing the target with a 20-yard shot.
Forest were forced into a change early in the second period when captain Danny Fox went off injured but substitute Michael Dawson and his fellow defenders limited Leeds to speculative efforts as the home fans grew frustrated.
Marcelo Bielsa turned to Samuel Saiz and Jack Clarke for inspiration and the latter tried to get Leeds going with an audacious strike that flew wide.
The young winger then flashed a cross just beyond the reach of Hernandez and it appeared as if it was not going to be Leeds' night.
But Forest eventually buckled eight minutes from time when Roofe turned in Klich's shot on the line after Stuart Dallas had fired the ball across goal.
The visitors claimed Roofe used his arm but referee Geoff Eltringham gave the goal after a lengthy discussion with the linesman.
Hernandez came close to winning it for Leeds in stoppage time but his deft flick from Alioski's cross went just wide.