Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty announces dismissal of case against Trooper Ryan Londregan

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty announces dismissal of case against Trooper Ryan Londregan

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty announces dismissal of case against Trooper Ryan Londregan

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty has announced the dismissal of charges against State Trooper Ryan Londregan in the shooting death of Ricky Cobb II last summer.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO), defense lawyers presented several new pieces of evidence that would make it impossible for the State to prove that Londregan’s actions were not an authorized use of force by a peace officer.

In an open court hearing on April 29, the defense revealed the substance of Londregan’s testimony, claiming he saw Cobb reach for a trooper’s firearm just before Londregan fired shots that killed Cobb.

The HCAO also states that an MSP trainer said he never instructed officers to refrain from shooting into a moving vehicle during an extraction, even though that is best practice.

Following the disclosures, the prosecution team consulted with a use-of-force expert and re-evaluated whether the State could still prove beyond a reasonable doubt that deadly force was not justified.

RELATED: Hennepin County attorney explains hiring of 4 outside prosecutors for Londregan case

Moriarty, in collaboration with the prosecutors handling the case, determined the State could no longer meet its burden of proof and made the decision to dismiss the case, according to the HCAO.

“I am happy for Mr. Londregan, but I am also angry,” said the lead counsel for the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Imran Ali. “I find it disingenuous, and quite frankly, it’s an embarrassment that everyone else is blamed — everyone else is blamed but herself.”

Ever since charges were filed nearly six months ago, the case has brought scrutiny and controversy over the use of expert opinion. At one point, Gov. Tim Walz expressed his own concern and considered moving the case out of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

“Our community’s going to be hurt. Our community is going to be more divided than ever all because of this decision, horrible decision, that she made.”

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office will hold a press conference Monday at 8:30 a.m. to discuss the decision in more detail. Check back for a stream at that time.

The special prosecutors retained in this case developed a detailed report which includes an analysis of the impact of the new evidence. A summary of that report can be viewed below:

Moriarty also released an open letter to the community that can be read below:

After the decision was made, Minnesota Republicans Michelle Fischbach, Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber and Brad Finstad released the following statement:

“It was clear months ago that Ms. Moriarty was abusing her position to wrongfully charge Trooper Londregan. When she refused to listen to the facts of the case and the law, we asked Governor Walz to step in and remove the case from her jurisdiction. Finally, after many months of unnecessary strife, Ms. Moriarty has come to the same conclusion that the experts did: that Trooper Londregan was completely justified in his use of force to protect his partner’s life. We still share the same concerns we expressed to the Governor as well as the House Judiciary Committee about Ms. Moriarty’s active work to demonize law enforcement. We are committed to doing everything we can to protect our brave officers from corrupted officials like her.”

The chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, Col. Christina Bogojevic, also released a statement following the decision:

“Our troopers work hard every day to keep Minnesota safe. They are in a line of work that is increasingly difficult and dangerous — but also more important than ever. The use of force that took Ricky Cobb II’s life unfolded in a fraction of a second. We acknowledge the loss felt by Mr. Cobb’s family. We also recognize the immense toll this incident has taken on our troopers and staff. Following the announcement that charges against Trooper Ryan Londregan were dropped, we move forward with the same passion and commitment to safety and deep appreciation for the public’s support. Trooper Londregan remains on paid leave while we conduct a critical incident review. Due to civil litigation, we cannot provide any additional comments.” 

Londregan was charged with unintentional homicide, manslaughter and assault in the shooting death of Ricky Cobb II, who was shot after attempting to drive away from a traffic stop on I-94 last year.

Click here for KSTP’s full Ryan Londregan coverage.