By Steve Karnowski And Trisha Ahmed, The Associated Press on January 24, 2024.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minnesota State Patrol trooper was charged with murder Wednesday in the shooting of motorist Ricky Cobb II after he refused to get out of his car during a July traffic stop.
Trooper Ryan Londregan is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, first-degree assault and second degree manslaughter in the death of Cobb, a 33-year-old Black man, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said at a news conference.
“As with all Minnesota law enforcement officers, state troopers may only use deadly force when it is necessary to protect a person from a specific identified threat of great bodily harm or death that was reasonably likely to occur. That did not exist in this case. Ricky Cobb II should be alive today,” Moriarty said.
An attorney for Londregan called his client “a hero” and attacked Moriarty for charging Cobb.
“This county attorney is literally out of control. Open season on law enforcement must end. And it’s going to end with this case,” attorney Chris Madel said in a video statement
Londregan has not been arrested. Moriarty said her office will not seek to hold him on bail but will ask the court to require him to surrender his passport and firearms. She expects his first court appearance to be scheduled for later this week or early next week.
Londregan shot Cobb after a July 31 a traffic stop on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis, according to the Minnesota Public Safety Department’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which investigates police shootings. Authorities have not provided information about Londregan’s race.
Trooper Brett Seide initially pulled Cobb over when he saw the taillights were out on the Ford Fusion Cobb was driving, according to the bureau.
The bureau has said previously that Seide checked Cobb’s record and found he was wanted for a “probable cause arrest for a felony order-for-protection violation” issued by the nearby Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.
Londregan and Trooper Garrett Erickson arrived later and helped as Seide tried to pull Cobb out of the car before Londregan shot him. Cobb was able to drive a short distance before stopping his Ford Fusion stopped on the interstate.
The bureau has said the troopers then tried to save Cobb. He died at the scene.