Court Documents: Officer Shot Fleeing Man, Who Was UnarmedBy John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An Amtrak police officer from Chicago is charged with murder in the shooting death of a Minneapolis man.

Thirty-one-year-old LaRoyce Tankson turned himself in Thursday, one day after 25-year-old Chad Robertson died from a gunshot wound.

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Witnesses said the officer shot Robertson as he ran during an encounter near Union Station on Feb. 8.

Chad Robertson (credit:  Robertson family)

Chad Robertson (credit: Robertson family)

Chicago police say Tankson shot Robertson in the shoulder. His family said he lost feeling from his neck down, and died in the hospital one week later.

Police say cash and narcotics were found at the scene of the shooting, but otherwise they are saying very little about what happened.

“My brother was taken from us, but we are confident that we will get justice. We are glad today that he was charged,” said Nina Robertson, the victim’s sister. “A loving person. He loved to draw, he loved to work with his hands. My brother was an artist. He had dreams and aspirations. I’m devastated. I’m devastated that his life was taken.”

Robertson’s family held an emotional press conference after Friday morning’s court appearance for Officer Tankson.

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“My son ran away, he did not stop and turn around. Why would he stop and turn around? He running. He running away,” said Robertson’s father, Leroy Taylor. “He killed my son. He should be in jail. He should be staying in jail.”

Taylor and other family members are upset that bond was set at just $250,000 for Officer Tankson, and that his defense is that he thought Robertson may have been reaching for a gun.

LaRoyce Tankson (credit: Chicago Police Department)

LaRoyce Tankson (credit: Chicago Police Department)

Investigators did not find a weapon on Robertson, who was a father of two.

“His kids’ lives are going to be changed forever because they’re used to having their dad around all the time. Every day my brother does everything for his kids,” said Lanisha Taylor, Robertson’s sister.

Officer Tankson does not have a prior criminal history. The Amtrak Police Labor Committee released a statement Friday saying they stand in full support of Tankson.

They say he has been a member of the Amtrak Police Department in Chicago for nearly two years, and has displayed exemplary professionalism during that time.

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His next court appearance will be March 9.

John Lauritsen