Earlier this month, an Amtrak law enforcement officer was involved in a shooting that occurred near Union Station. After taking out his gun and crouching in the firing position, the police officer shot one round at 25-year-old Chad Robertson from Minnesota. One week later, on Wednesday, February 15th, the suspect died from his injuries and the police officer is facing first-degree murder charges.
According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the police officer in question, 31-year-old LaRoyce Tankson turned himself on Thursday. He was subsequently charged with first-degree murder. On Friday afternoon, a judge set his bond at $250,000. He was released on bond shortly afterward.
Local authorities say that officer Tankson responded to a robbery at the time of the shooting. However, the victim’s family disputed that. According to Chad Robertson’s family, the man was returning home together with a friend on February 8th from a wedding in Memphis. As their Megabus made a short stop in Chicago, the two individuals decided to go into Union Station to get warm. Robertson’s girlfriend said the man was only returning home to his two children and did nothing wrong.
However, prosecutors say Tankson and his partner saw Chad Robertson smoking marijuana on the sidewalk. While the officers patted him down, Roberson tried to make his escape and ran away from Tankson. According to the police officer’s defense attorney, the suspect was running away with his left hand in his pocket and turned toward the law enforcement officers at some point. Hence, defense attornies argue Tankson had reason to believe his life was in danger as he assumed Robertson was concealing a weapon.
However, prosecutors say Robertson was simply running away and did not make any threatening gestures. In light of these events, the victim’s family are pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. Officer LaRoyce Tankson has been with the Amtrak Police Department since 2015. He was placed on administrative duty shortly after the incident. At the moment, the APD is keeping quiet about more details of the first-degree murder charges and the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation.
On Friday, the Amtrak Police Department issued a statement fully supporting LaRoyce Tankson’s course of action describing him as an exemplary law enforcement officer.
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