Date: February 7, 2017
Officer: LaRoyce Tankson (Amtrak Officer)
Charged: Yes, First Degree Murder
Chad Robertson and his friend were in Chicago, IL, on February 7, 2017, for a one hour Megabus layover from Memphis to Minneapolis after attending a funeral. They got off the bus with a woman they met on the bus, and the three went to Union Station to seek shelter from the cold. Amtrak Officer LaRoyce Tankson and his partner approached the three to tell them to stop smoking cannabis in public and that the area was reserved for train passengers only. Robertson stopped and apologized to the officers, leaving Union Station. They were headed to a nearby restaurant when Robertson’s friend realized that he left a bag at the station, returning to retrieve the bag. The Amtrak Officers followed the group to the restaurant and told them to go outside and put their hands up. The officers detained them although there were no criminal offenses other than the possession of cannabis. When the officers were frisking Robertson’s friend, Robertson panicked and started to run. Tankson then dropped on one knee and shot Robertson when he was at least 75 feet away, forcing him to drop face down on the ground. Chicago Police said Robertson only had cash and cannabis on him, adding that he was shot in the left shoulder. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and his family members specified that he was shot close to his spine. Robertson was left paralyzed from the neck down, dying one week later on February 15, 2017. He was 25 years old.
LaRoyce Tankson claimed to have seen Chad Robertson reaching for a gun when he shot him, claiming to shoot in self-defense. His partner and witnesses contradict his account, all saying they didn’t see Robertson reach for a gun or anything suggesting that he was putting Tankson in danger. Although the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx asked for no bail, the judge set bond at $250,000 on a charge of first-degree murder. The Amtrak Police Union raised $4000 to help Tankson and also believe he shot in self-defense. A federal lawsuit was filed against Amtrak and Tankson for wrongful death amongst eight other charges.
Amtrak officer charged in fatal shooting of unarmed man. (2017, February 17). Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/amtrak-officer-charged-shooting-death-unarmed-minneapolis-man-n722606?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_ma&fbclid=IwAR1phgdnam_gHfDTY0cGcTyMw77Ny3mPswXYZrSuLphqiXrasfwrBt7b-Og
Associated Press. (2017, February 16). Man shot by Amtrak officer near Union Station dies, Chicago police say. Retrieved from https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-amtrak-police-officer-fatal-shooting-20170215-story.html
Associated Press. (2017, March 08). Union raises $4,000 for Amtrak officer charged with murder. Retrieved from https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/8/union-raises-4000-for-amtrak-officer-charged-with-/
Homicide Watch Chicago, & Mayes, J. (2017, February 21). Amtrak officer charged with murder for shooting Chad Robertson outside Union Station free on bond. Retrieved from http://chicago.homicidewatch.org/2017/02/21/amtrak-officer-charged-with-murder-for-shooting-chad-robertson-outside-union-station-free-on-bond/index.html
Jany, L. (2017, February 16). Lawyer: Minneapolis man shot by transit police in Chicago has died. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/lawyer-minneapolis-man-shot-by-transit-police-in-chicago-has-died/413884623/
WLS. (2017, February 17). Amtrak officer who fatally shot man, 25, charged. Retrieved from https://abc7chicago.com/news/amtrak-officer-who-fatally-shot-man-25-charged/1759817/