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Amtrak Officer Charged with First Degree Murder

— February 21, 2017

Amtrak law enforcement agent LaRoyce Tankson, 31, was charged with first degree murder after a shooting that occurred on February 8th near Union Station in Chicago.

Amtrak law enforcement agent LaRoyce Tankson, 31, was charged with first degree murder after a shooting that occurred on February 8th near Union Station in Chicago.  His bond was set at $250,000.  The officer had allegedly fired his gun at victim Chad Robertson, 25, a married father of two, after he “reasonably believed he was about to be shot,” according to Tankson’s attorney William Fahy.  Evidently Tankson noticed Robertson reaching into his pocket, seemingly retrieving his own firearm, and this caused him to make the shot.  However, none of the six witnesses who testified at trial were able to confirm Robertson had indeed gestured as described, and Tankson’s own partner could not back him up.  Robertson was found to be unarmed.

Image Courtesy of the Chicago Police Department
Image Courtesy of the Chicago Police Department

Robertson, who was at a short, half-hour stop over on his way back home to Minneapolis, was shot in the back and passed away from his injuries last Wednesday.  The first degree murder suit claims that Robertson and his group of friends had been dropped off by a bus driver on their way back from Memphis, who suggested they go inside the station to keep warm until the arrival of a connecting bus.  The group had gone inside Union Station to escape the frigid temperatures, where they met Tankson.  The officer accused the group of loitering and asked them to leave.  Following orders, they left to go to a nearby restaurant, but Tankson followed them outside, conducting illegal searches of each.  He discovered a small amount of marijuana on Robertson.  Robertson tried to run, and Tankson “assumed a crouched firing stance” and fired his weapon from approximately 75 to 100 feet from Robertson, hitting him directly in the back.

Tankson had only been on the job for eighteen months before that fateful night.  It was his first assignment after making the decision to transition from a career as an engineer. He is married to a Chicago firefighter, has three children, and comes from a family of first responders.  His mother was a career law enforcement agent.

Image Courtesy of Amtrak
Image Courtesy of Amtrak

Robertson’s family believes their loved one was just another target in an ongoing conspiracy regarding a slew of deaths caused by officers as of late.  The man’s death comes just a month after Chicago police officer Lowell Houser was also charged with first degree murder after shooting a man he had had an ongoing feud with.  Fahy represented Houser as well.

Robertson’s supporters can’t believe Tankson didn’t initially try to chase after the man instead of immediately opening fire.  They believe his bond was set far too low and that justice failed to be served in the first degree murder conviction.  Referring to Tankson’s supposed belief Robertson was armed, the victim’s sister stated, “How many times are they going to keep saying that that was why they’re killing us?  It’s unfair, it’s unfair, and it’s an injustice.”

Late Friday afternoon, Tankson was released from Cook County Jail after posting bond. He ducked into an unmarked police vehicle and was driven away.  Amtrak is continuing to cooperate with the investigation.


After officer charged, Amtrak shooting detailed: Cop ‘assumed a crouched firing stance’

Amtrak officer is charged with murder in shooting near Chicago’s Union Station

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