Police association asks Walz to put AG on Londregan case, remove Moriarty’s office

The largest public safety professionals association in the state is calling on the governor to change who is handling the prosecution of a state trooper who shot and killed a motorist last summer.

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association says it sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz on Friday, asking that he hands the case of Ryan Londregan to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office to take it out of the hands of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Londregan is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter for the shooting that killed Ricky Cobb II during a traffic stop on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis on July 31.

“As current and former law-enforcement officers, and as a former prosecutor and defense lawyer, we understand this is an uncommon request. It is our sincere belief that if fair prosecutors review the case, they will determine that it should be dismissed with prejudice,” MPPOA leaders wrote in their letter.

RELATED: Londregan lawyers say HCAO force expert believes trooper acted reasonably, prosecutors say that’s out of context

It comes four days after the organization and Republican lawmakers highlighted a court filing to argue that the case against Londregan should be dismissed, with some even calling for Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty to resign. That filing, from Londregan’s lawyers, suggests that prosecutors’ use-of-force expert said Londregan acted reasonably, although Moriarty’s office says the defense “cherrypicked” statements and the expert hasn’t yet made a conclusion.

MPPOA again cited that filing in its letter to the governor, adding, “this letter is not a request for broad policy changes. We ask only that you immediately redress an ongoing miscarriage of justice affecting one of our members through the powers granted to you by Minnesota statute — powers you have utilized in other cases.”

Walz has appointed Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office to some high-profile cases, including last spring when he took a case out of the hands of Moriarty’s office amid community frustration over how a murder case was being prosecuted. However, it’s still extremely rare, and in that instance Walz noted that Ellison formally requested to take over that case. It’s unclear if he’s made any such request in the Londregan matter.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office released the following statement in response:

“We are disappointed but not surprised to see MPPOA’s request that the Governor give special treatment to this case and, for just the second time in the history of the state, remove a case from our jurisdiction. We will not talk about the facts of this case. That’s for the courtroom.

MPPOA is right about one thing – there is a crisis in confidence, but it is not because of attempts at accountability. It is because of well-documented and horrific instances where some officers abused their power and used unauthorized force. These abuses have fallen disproportionately upon the shoulders of black and brown Minnesotans. It is unfortunate to see MPPOA fail to acknowledge this history and fail to try to repair it.”

Walz’s office told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that it is still reviewing the letter but “The Governor takes this matter seriously.”

Londregan’s next hearing is scheduled for March 21.