Man Faces Murder Charges After Shooting Motorist in Minnesota!

Wednesday, prosecutors in Minnesota charged a state trooper with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a motorist who fled the scene of a traffic stop in Minneapolis last July.

After an investigation revealed difficulties between prosecutors and law enforcement, charges were announced against Trooper Ryan Londregan in relation to the death of motorist Ricky Cobb II.

The chief prosecutor in Hennepin County, which encompasses Minneapolis, Mary Moriarty, has charged Trooper Londregan for the first time in relation to an on-duty shooting.

Following the death of George Floyd in 2020, Ms. Moriarty, a former public defense, was elected in 2022 and pledged to implement numerous reforms, one of which was to make it easier to hold police personnel responsible when they erred.

Since the killing of Mr. Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer sparked a nationwide outcry over police brutality and racism, legal experts say that prosecutors have grown more eager to press charges against law enforcement officials. However, criminal charges in these instances are still uncommon, and when they do arise, prosecutors have significant challenges in achieving convictions.

A Minnesota Man is Charged With Murder for Shooting a Motorist

Trooper Londregan faced second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and second-degree manslaughter charges. An attorney representing Trooper Londregan, 27, Chris Madel, voiced his disapproval of the decision to press charges, claiming that the prosecutor is unduly lenient when dealing with instances involving horrific offenders.

“Now, today, she charges a hero,” he said in a statement. “Open season on law enforcement must end. And it’s going to end with this case.” State law permits the use of deadly force in certain situations, and Trooper Londregan’s attorneys argued in court that their client had acted solely to save himself and his colleague from “great bodily damage” or death.

Trooper Londregan, a white state trooper, pulled over a 33-year-old Black man named Mr. Cobb for driving without functioning taillights on July 31. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports that Cobb was fatally shot during the stop. According to authorities, Mr. Cobb was detained during the check because troopers suspected him of violating a protection order concerning a prior romantic partner.

Shortly after the incident, footage from police body cameras revealed what happened. Standing by the driver’s side door, Trooper Brett Seide—one of three cops present—asked Mr. Cobb to exit his vehicle. While riding solo in the vehicle, Mr. Cobb raises doubts about the request and wants to know if an arrest warrant exists.

According to the evidence captured by the body cameras, Trooper Londregan, who was positioned on the passenger side of the vehicle, tried to oust Mr. Cobb by opening the door and reaching inside. The driver’s side was similarly attended to by Trooper Seide. You can see Mr. Cobb’s car stumbling ahead almost instantly.

Reportedly, Trooper Londregan shot Mr. Cobb twice in the torso as the vehicle started to move. During the car’s rapid departure, Troopers Seide and Londregan both fell to the ground. Mr. Cobb continued driving for perhaps quarter of a mile until he pulled over to the shoulder of the highway. Authorities reported his death at the spot.

Nearly two years had passed since Trooper Londregan’s commissioning as a police officer when the traffic stop occurred. His paid leave has begun. Acts taken by the troopers that night, according to prosecutors, contradict their training on how to remove a stubborn passenger from a car.

“Troopers should make every effort not to place themselves in a position that would increase the possibility that the vehicle they are approaching can be used as a deadly weapon,” the prosecution’s charging statement stated as a matter of policy.

According to the state office that investigates police shootings, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, investigators discovered a handgun on the floor below the center console of Mr. Cobb’s vehicle during their postmortem investigation.

The police body-cam footage did not show the weapon, and there is no publicly available evidence to indicate that the troopers were aware of the weapon’s presence in the vehicle prior to Mr. Cobb’s demise. Court records show that Mr. Cobb’s 2017 conviction for domestic assault disqualified him from lawfully possessing a gun in Minnesota.

Minnesota human rights advocates and relatives of Mr. Cobb quickly demanded that the relevant troopers be fired and criminally charged following his death. August saw additional meetings between Ms. Moriarty and Democratic Governor Tim Walz, as well as Mr. Cobb’s relatives.

State troopers’ union deemed the governor’s meeting “improper,” saying it would compromise the integrity of the criminal probe. State Patrol personnel were allegedly hindering the prosecution’s investigation into the murder because they refused to participate, according to Ms. Moriarty.

The State Patrol is a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, which is headed by Commissioner Bob Jacobson. Jacobson stated on Wednesday, “We respect and accept today’s charging decision.”

According to the statement, these events can be challenging and unpredictable, and they usually occur at a time when actions and judgments can have a profound impact on one’s life, or even terminate it. Lifelong effects will be felt by all parties concerned. Nyra Fields-Miller, who is Mr. Cobb’s mother, said that the charges represent a step toward closure for the family.

“My son was taken from me by Ryan Londregan,” stated Ms. Fields-Miller. “He opened fire on an unarmed Ricky, killing him for no apparent reason.” Over the past few years, prosecutors in Minnesota have increasingly taken the practice of bringing instances involving police use of deadly force before grand juries, who are then asked to decide whether the officer’s actions were criminal.

When it comes to instances involving police use of fatal force, prosecutors in the Minneapolis area frequently refer them to the state attorney general or another county attorney. Ms. Moriarty expressed her disapproval of such arrangements throughout her campaign for office.

One of her campaign platform promises was that she would personally decide whether or not to charge police officers if elected, so that “the people of Hennepin County hold her accountable for those decisions.” Instead of a grand jury deciding to press charges, Ms. Moriarty and her team did it.

On Monday, Trooper Londregan is expected to face charges. According to Ms. Moriarty, prosecutors anticipate that the trooper will be granted bail while the investigation progresses. According to her, the prosecution will ask the judge to order Trooper Londregan to turn over his passport and any weapons he may have.

Wednesday was a tough day for Mr. Cobb’s and Trooper Londregan’s families, according to Ms. Moriarty. After the sad deaths of community members at the hands of police, “our community continues to navigate the compounding trauma and grief that results from that,” she said.

For complete and current coverage of all Californian events, make sure to visit The California Examiner.

To see all of our latest posts, please go to this page:

Scroll to Top