Amtrak police officer found not guilty of murder in 2017 Union Station shooting

Amtrak police officer found not guilty of murder in 2017 Union Station shooting

Flanked by attorneys and supporters, Amtrak police officer LaRoyce Tankson walks out of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse after being found not guilty of murder charges by a Cook County judge, Friday morning, Sept. 28, 2020. Tankson was charged for the fatal on-duty shooting of a Minnesota man outside Union Station in February 2017. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

LaRoyce Tankson shot and killed Chad Robertson as the Minnesota man ran from a pat-down search.

An Amtrak police officer who fatally shot a Minnesota man as he fled from a pat-down search outside Union Station in 2017 was found not guilty of murder charges Friday by a Cook County judge.

Judge Dennis Porter made his ruling four days after the conclusion of a week-long bench trial of LaRoyce Tankson. The judge is no stranger to controversy in court rulings involving police officers. In 2015, Porter threw out involuntary manslaughter charges against former Chicago Police officer Dante Servin in the off-duty killing of Rekia Boyd.

Tankson shot Chad Robertson in February 2017, after Robertson took off running as Tankson and his partner patted down two of Robertson’s friends not far from the downtown station.

Porter ruled that Tankson’s decision to shoot at Robertson was reasonable and found the officer not guilty on all counts. Tankson wept as he embraced his lawyers after Porter finished reading an explanation for the verdict. In the courtroom gallery, Robertson’s supporters gasped.

Tankson’s attorney, Will Fahy, said: “We are thankful for Mr. Tankson and his family. This has been a long ordeal for all of them. I strongly believe this case should never have been charged.”

Tankson had been placed on administrative duties after he was charged but now move to have his police powers restored, Fahy said. A civil lawsuit against Tankson and Amtrak is pending.

Rhonda Ward, the mother of Robertson’s children, ages 3 and 9, said she was stunned by the verdict.

”What am I supposed to tell my kids? That there’s no justice for their daddy? That they can’t run, they can’t stand still, (police) will shoot you no matter what you do?” Ward said. “I have known (Robertson) since I was 13 years old. He ain’t never had no gun or done nothing to hurt anybody. He’s been scared of the police his whole life. Now my kids don’t have a daddy.”

Flanked by attorneys and supporters, Amtrak police officer LaRoyce Tankson walks into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Friday morning, Sept. 28, 2020. Tankson was charged with first-degree murder for the fatal on-duty shooting of a Minnesota man outside Union Station in February 2017.Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times
Flanked by attorneys and supporters, Amtrak police officer LaRoyce Tankson walks into the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Friday morning, Sept. 28, 2020. Tankson was charged with first-degree murder for the fatal on-duty shooting of a Minnesota man outside Union Station in February 2017.

Source : Andy Grimm Link

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