Trooper Charged With Murder in Shooting of Black Motorist

County attorney says Minnesota trooper's use of deadly force wasn't justified
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 25, 2024 12:40 PM CST
Minnesota Trooper Charged With Murder in Motorist's Death
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty speaks during a news conference, Wednesday Jan. 24, 2024 in Minneapolis. an.   (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)

A Minnesota state trooper was charged with murder Wednesday in the shooting of motorist Ricky Cobb II, who failed to get out of his car during a July traffic stop and took his foot off the brake when officers tried to arrest him. In announcing charges of second-degree unintentional murder, first-degree assault, and second-degree manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said Trooper Ryan Londregan's use of deadly force against Cobb, a 33-year-old Black man, wasn't justified, the AP reports.

Londregan attorney Chris Madel called his client "a hero," saying Londregan, 27, was trying to protect himself and a fellow trooper. Londregan hasn't been arrested. Moriarty said her office won't seek to hold him on bail but will ask the court to require him to surrender his passport and firearms. Londregan shot Cobb on July 31 after two other troopers pulled him over on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis when they saw the lights were out on the Ford Fusion that Cobb was driving, according to the criminal complaint. After they checked his record and found he was wanted for violating an order of protection in neighboring Ramsey County, the troopers asked Cobb to get out of the car.

Trooper Brett Seide told Cobb he was under arrest while Londregan reached inside, unlocked the doors, and began opening the passenger door. The complaint said Cobb then shifted the car into drive and took his foot off the brake. According to the complaint, Cobb's car began to slowly move forward. Londregan reached for his gun. Cobb stopped the car. The trooper pointed his gun at Cobb and yelled, "Get out of the car now!" Cobb took his foot off the brake again. Within less than a second, Londregan fired his handgun twice at Cobb, striking him both times in the chest, the complaint said. The defense filing quotes written statements to investigators by the two other troopers that they believed lethal force was necessary. (More police shooting stories.)

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