Amtrak cops put on restricted duty as family of wounded man demands answers

On the same day Amtrak officials announced they had put police officers involved in a shooting near Union Station on restricted duty, relatives of the Minneapolis man hurt in the incident demanded answers.The Amtrak police officers involved in the Wednesday...

Amtrak cops put on restricted duty as family of wounded man demands answers

On the same day Amtrak officials announced they had put police officers involved in a shooting near Union Station on restricted duty, relatives of the Minneapolis man hurt in the incident demanded answers.

The Amtrak police officers involved in the Wednesday night shooting in the 300 block of South Canal Street were put on “administrative assignment” per Department policy, according to a brief emailed statement. Chicago police, in coordination with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, is the lead agency in the investigation, the statement said.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari declined to say how many officers were involved and would not offer details of the incident, but said the officers’ reassignment was standard practice after a shooting.

Neither Amtrak nor Chicago police have said whether a gun was recovered from the wounded man. Police said drugs were found.

As the transit agency announced the officers’ status, more than a dozen family members for Chad Robertson gathered outside of Stroger Hospital Friday afternoon for an emotional news conference organized by members of Black Lives Matter Chicago.

Robertson, 25, is a loving father with two young children, his family said. His older sister, Nina Robertson, said nothing her brother did justified him being shot by police.

Robertson remains at the hospital, where he is being treated for his gunshot wound. While police said he was struck in the shoulder, his family said he was struck in the back near the spine and suffered a severe spinal injury. They said they don’t know yet if he will be able to walk again.

Few details after Amtrak police officer shoots man near Union Station Chicago Tribune staff

An Amtrak police officer shot and wounded a man near Union Station on Wednesday night, but officials were releasing few details about it.The officer shot the 25-year-old man in the left shoulder around 8:45 p.m. in the 300 block of South Canal Street, authorities said.  He was taken in serious-to-critical...

An Amtrak police officer shot and wounded a man near Union Station on Wednesday night, but officials were releasing few details about it.The officer shot the 25-year-old man in the left shoulder around 8:45 p.m. in the 300 block of South Canal Street, authorities said.  He was taken in serious-to-critical...

(Chicago Tribune staff)

“This man (the officer) needs to be in jail,” Nina Robertson said, her voice rising to a shout on Ogden Avenue as her family and activists huddled behind her in the afternoon chill. “He needs to be convicted. This is a crime and we are tired! You will stop shooting us!”

Robertson’s large Minneapolis-based family rushed to Chicago upon hearing news of the shooting.

Family members described what they said happened. Robertson and a longtime friend arrived in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon by Megabus after attending a funeral in Memphis, Nina Robertson told reporters. The pair had an hourlong layover until they could catch a connecting bus returning to Minneapolis, and decided to wait at Union Station with a young woman they met on the bus.

Once inside, the trio were “insulted” by an Amtrak officer and told to leave, according to the family’s attorney, Douglas Hopson. “They were treated like trespassers and put back out in the cold,” Hopson said.

When someone in the group left a bag at the station, Robertson’s companion returned to retrieve it. Robertson and the woman waited at a nearby cafe, according to the attorney. Two Amtrak officers then came to the cafe and ordered them to come out with their hands up. Robertson ran away from the officers and was fired on twice, Hopson said. He said Robertson did not have a weapon.

One person was wounded in a shooting by an Amtrak police officer in Chicago near Union Station on Feb. 8, 2017, authorities said.

“It was not a mistake, it was a reckless and callous act on his part and he’s going to pay for it,” Hopson said.

Hopson confirmed that marijuana was recovered from Robertson, but said it didn’t justify the use of force. He said he was told prosecutors were looking into the shooting, but a spokeswoman with the state’s attorney’s office could not provide any details.

Robertson, who works as an independent contractor rehabbing homes in Minneapolis according to his family, has several misdemeanor convictions in Hennepin County in Minnesota dating back to 2008, records show, including one for attempted aggravated robbery and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has one felony conviction for damage to property, the records show.

As they await word on whether he will be able to walk again, Robertson’s family said they would remain in Chicago until they received answers about the investigation.

“This is crazy! This is a very difficult and hurtful time for us,” said Nina Robertson, 27. “My brother has nine siblings. He is a father, an uncle, a cousin. He is loved and we will not stand for this!”

wlee@chicagotribune.comrsobol@chicagotribubne.comTwitter: @MidNoirCowboy@RosemarySobol1

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