Bodycam video of fatal shooting on I-94 released
State officials have released bodycam video that shows part of the traffic stop on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis that left a man dead Monday morning.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) held a press conference to discuss and release the video at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, a day after the State Patrol said it was “working expeditiously” to release the video after giving family members of the driver — identified by sources as 33-year-old Ricky Cobb II — a chance to see it first. Authorities confirmed they did give his family a chance to watch it before Tuesday afternoon’s press conference.
You can watch the full press conference, including the body and dash camera footage, in the video below.
According to DPS, a trooper saw a Ford Fusion without any taillights on I-94 near Lowry Avenue just after 1:50 a.m. Monday. The trooper pulled the driver, Cobb, over and then learned he was wanted for a felony-level violation.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it issued a “KOPS alert” for Cobb over the weekend, as investigators wanted to question him about a violation of an order for protection.
After troopers learned about the alert, they tried to detain Cobb, but DPS says he refused to get out of the vehicle. Troopers then tried to physically remove him from the vehicle, but he started driving away. A trooper then fired a gun, striking Cobb multiple times.
While few details have been shared about the investigation, a spokesperson for DPS confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that all three troopers had tasers.
Authorities say troopers provided aid to Cobb until medics arrived. While the agency still hasn’t confirmed whether Cobb died at the scene or at a hospital, a medical examiner report released Tuesday states that Cobb died at the scene.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the use-of-force incident.
“The one way that I would classify it is this is just a tremendously sad situation. It’s sad from every perspective and for everyone involved,” Col. Matt Langer, head of the State Patrol, said.
The video appears to show one trooper talking to Cobb at the front driver’s side window with another trooper at the front passenger’s window and a third trooper at the back of the car. After trying to get the driver to exit the video, the driver’s door opens and the trooper tries to grab the wheel before the car takes off forward, knocking the two front troopers to the ground and dragging the driver’s side trooper for about two seconds. Another bodycam video shows the trooper on the passenger’s side had also opened the door right before the car inched forward and was leaning inside just before the car took off.
The gunshots could only be faintly heard in the video, and the trooper on the passenger’s side was the only one who appeared to have his weapon drawn when the car took off. Langer confirmed it was the passenger’s side trooper that fired the shots and added that the State Patrol was also “perplexed” why the gunshots aren’t more clearly audible on the video.
After the car stops a short distance away, the troopers are seen trying to provide aid to Cobb and one is heard telling him, “stay with me.”
The three involved troopers are on standard administrative leave amid the BCA’s investigation. They haven’t yet been publicly identified.
Langer and DPS Commissioner Bob Jacobson didn’t answer specific questions about the shooting and investigation, citing the active investigation by the BCA.
“Our goal is for these things to never happen and so when they do happen we shift really quickly into why did it happen and is there absolutely anything we can do in the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Langer said.
Cobb’s family held a vigil Monday night where his sister shared her appreciation for the support family members have received.
A press conference was also held early Tuesday afternoon, where family members and community activists demanded the release of the bodycam and dashcam footage.
“I am so hurt. I need all of the help,” Nyra Fields-Miller, Ricky T. Cobb’s mother, said. “I’m hurting so incredibly bad, my heart my soul and my body.”
Fields-Miller calls Monday the worst day of her life.
On Tuesday, the family gathered at the Governor’s Mansion to remember Cobb, after seeing body camera video of his final moments.
His mother was so overwhelmed with emotion, she could no longer stand.
Through hugs tears, and prayers, the Cobb family is trying to find ways to move forward.
“This is my first time being so devastated. I just can’t take it. I want justice for my son,” Fields-Miller said.
Calls for justice and accountability surrounding Cobb’s killing continued Tuesday night.
Dozens of people gathered close to where Cobb was shot on I-94. Chanting his name, demonstrators marched along Lyndale Avenue in north Minneapolis. Among them were members of Cobb’s family including his sister, Octavia Ruffin, who called Cobb a protector.
“He did a lot for us, his family, his kids,” Ruffin said, adding: “This is definitely a heartbreaking situation not just for us, but for the community.”
Some held signs that read ‘Justice 4 Ricky’ and ‘Ricky Cobb II we love you’ as they wait for the BCA to wrap up their investigation to learn more about the deadly encounter.
The BCA’s investigation into the matter continues. After it wraps up, those findings will be presented to prosecutors for review and charging consideration.
Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association General Counsel Imran Ali released the following statement on Wednesday:
“Our thoughts are with the family of Mr. Cobb II as they grieve this loss. It is also important we keep members of the Minnesota State Patrol in our thoughts during this difficult time.
“The incident is currently under investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and once complete, the Hennepin County Attorney will make any charging decisions. We ask everyone, including elected officials, to let the investigation and legal process continue without interruption or influence. Comments by elected officials only undermine the importance of due process and our rule of law.”