Skip to main content
Publish date:

2 years later, Amtrak officer who fatally shot Minneapolis man acquitted

Chad Robertson, father of 2, was killed in Chicago.

The Chicago Amtrak police officer who shot and killed a Minneapolis man two years ago has been found not guilty of murder.

In February 2017, LaRoyce Tankson shot 25-year-old Chad Robertson near the city's Union Station after attempting to pat him down in an apparent search for weapons. 

Robertson took off running during the search, at which point Tankson opened fire. Robertson was struck and died of his wounds a week later, leaving behind two young kids. 

At the time of the shooting, Robertson was with two friends traveling home to Minneapolis from Tennessee; the group had an hour-long layover in Chicago, during which they decided to smoke marijuana. 

That lead to the encounter with Tankson and another Amtrak officer. As a result of the shooting that followed, Tankson was placed on administrative leave and eventually charged with first-degree murder.

On Friday, Cook County, Illinois, Judge Dennis Porter acquitted Tankson following a bench trial (in which the defendant chooses to be tried by a judge, instead of a jury).

As the Chicago Tribune reports, Porter found that Robertson had "turned slightly toward Tankson and reached into his left pocket" while running away — apparently trying to toss some marijuana to the ground — which "Tankson interpreted as Robertson reaching for a gun."

"The thought that Officer Tankson was some type of cowboy out to put another notch on his gun is not borne out by the record in any way, shape or form, in my opinion,” Porter said, per the Tribune. 

"Tankson wept as he embraced his lawyers after Porter finished reading an explanation for his ruling," the Chicago Sun-Times notes, adding that Robertson's supporters "gasped" in the courtroom gallery at the decision. 

While Tankson will seek to have his police powers restored, the paper says, he and Amtrak are still facing a pending civil lawsuit over Robertson's death. 

Next Up

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.

Related

police lights

Man fatally shot by deputy on I-35 identified as 25-year-old

Anthony Michael Legato was shot during an encounter on Interstate 35 with the Pine County Sheriff's Office.

Screen Shot 2020-08-09 at 5.20.58 PM

Man who 'rushed officer with knife' fatally shot in western Wisconsin

The deadly encountered happened around 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

Update: MN man was running away when he was shot by Amtrak officer, charges say

The charges say Chad Robertson was running away at full speed when he was shot.

duluth police department

BCA investigators say Duluth cop shot through door, striking man

The incident happened Saturday, Sept. 12 at an apartment in Duluth.

Authorities ID officer who fatally shot 61-year-old Shakopee man

The officer opened fire after the victim allegedly raised his gun at him.

Over a year later, man sentenced for murder of Minneapolis dad

Antwan Darnell Cosey fled the state after shooting Frankie Golden during a confrontation.