Charges just released against an Amtrak police officer say he shot Chad Robertson on a Chicago street, as the Minnesota man was “running away from the officers at full speed.”
Officer LaRoyce Tankson was charged Friday with first-degree murder for the Feb. 8 shooting. Robertson died a week later. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office released the charges Friday afternoon, offering details that haven’t been released about what led to Robertson’s death.
Here are details from the charges. (Note: They could be disturbing to some readers.)
Robertson and two colleagues had taken a bus from Tennessee to Chicago, on their way back to Minneapolis. They arrived on the night of Feb. 8 around 8 p.m., and had more than 90 minutes until their bus for Minnesota departed.
While waiting near Union Station, the trio went to the street and began smoking marijuana.
Tankson and another Amtrak police officer approached, and told them to put out the joint. Robertson complied, apologized, and said he wasn’t from Chicago. The officers then warned Robertson and his friends not to smoke marijuana in public.
After that Robertson and one friend walked away in one direction toward a restaurant, while the second friend went into Union Station to get luggage.
“Moments later,” Tankson and the other officer approached all three again while outside, and ordered them to stand against a glass wall attached to a parking garage.
“The officers did not suspect Robertson, Individual A or Individual B of any criminal offense other than possession of cannabis nor did they witness them committing any other criminal offense,” the charges say.
While being patted down, Robertson started to run away – no witnesses saw Robertson with a weapon of any sort, nor did they see him gesture or turn toward officer Tankson and his fellow officer.
Tankson then pulled out his service weapon and fired one shot, striking Robertson as he was 75-100 feet away and “running away from the officers at full speed.” The bullet went into Robertson’s back left shoulder, and lodged in his neck. He fell face first onto the ground and remained motionless.
The other officer did not see a weapon or object in Robertson’s hand, and didn’t fire his own service weapon. No weapon was found on Robertson afterward.
Robertson was taken to the hospital and died a week later.
Tankson was in court Friday, and is being held on $250,000 bail. He’s scheduled to be in court again March 9, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office says. Tankson could get 20 years to life in prison if he’s convicted.
The original story from Friday morning is below.
An Amtrak police officer is charged with murder, after a Minneapolis man was fatally shot last week.
Chad Robertson, 25, had stopped in Chicago for an hour layover while traveling back to Minneapolis on Feb. 8.
Details about what happened afterward are scarce. But the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office says Robertson was shot and killed by an on-duty Amtrak police officer near Chicago’s Union Station.
That officer, 31-year-old LaRoyce Tankson, turned himself into authorities Thursday, the office says. He’s now charged with first-degree murder, and is scheduled to be in court at noon Friday.
A spokesperson for the attorney’s office told GoMN more information will be available after that hearing.
Exactly what happened still isn’t clear
There still isn’t a lot of information about what happened last Wednesday, but here’s what’s been reported.
Robertson – a father of two – had been at a family funeral in Tennessee and was on his way back to Minneapolis. He and his friends had an hour layover in Chicago.
At some point, Amtrak police approached the group and told them to leave – why police did so isn’t clear.
“What happened next is disputed,” a Facebook post said, but the night apparently ended with Robertson being shot in the back. He died a week later.
The Chicago Police Department told the Chicago Tribune police found drugs but no weapon on Robertson.