Reactions pour in after Hennepin County attorney dismisses charges against state trooper

Reactions pour in after Hennepin County attorney dismisses charges against state trooper

Reactions pour in after Hennepin County attorney dismisses charges against state trooper

A day after prosecutors announced plans to dismiss charges against the state trooper in the fatal shooting of Ricky Cobb II, both legal teams are reacting.

In a press conference on Monday, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty discussed why her office decided to dismiss charges against Minnesota State Trooper Ryan Londregan.

Londregan was charged with unintentional homicide, manslaughter and assault in connection with the shooting.

As previously reported on Sunday, the attorney’s office sent out a news release stating that 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.

With the new evidence in hand, Moriarty says it would be difficult to successfully prosecute the case at trial.

“I know it’s a struggle for people to understand — especially in community, and especially the Cobb family — why not go do that?” Moriarty said. “Ethically we can’t as prosecutors.”

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 attorney’s office also states that a State Patrol 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 reevaluated whether the state could still prove beyond a reasonable doubt that deadly force was not justified.

Trading blame

Hennepin County attorney explains decision to drop charges against state trooper

Hennepin County attorney explains decision to drop charges against state trooper

While Moriarty acknowledged the new evidence likely wouldn’t result in a conviction, she also attacked Gov. Tim Walz, accusing him of politicizing the case.

“Why is it appropriate for a governor who has never picked up a phone to call me, who is not a lawyer, who does not understand the nuances of this case, to talk about it publicly?” she said.

The governor says he doesn’t need to be a lawyer to see problems with the case.

“Like so many things, (I’m) not an expert on immunology, but I can listen to experts at the Mayo Clinic and make decisions,” the governor said at a news conference in St. Paul. “And the fact of the matter is every other attorney came to the same conclusion I did.”

Moriarty also criticized supporters of Londregan who she claims taunted Cobb’s family before a hearing in April.

“And created a gauntlet downstairs that the Cobb family was forced to walk through to get to court,” she says. “Members of our staff were frightened at the spectacle that reminded them of Jan. 6.”

Mike LeDoux, the president of the Minnesota State Troopers Association, was there and says it didn’t happen that way.

“The family of Mr. Cobb was treated with respect,” says Mike LeDoux of the Minnesota State Troopers Association. “However, there was a group of individuals that were there trying to provoke both active and retired law enforcement officers and members of the public that showed up to support Ryan.”

Londregan’s attorney, Christopher Madel, held his own press conference Monday afternoon and took aim at Moriarty for trying to prosecute Londregan.

“She’s denigrating the first responders over and over again today,” Madel said of Moriarty.

Madel also talked about Cobb, showing pictures from his social media account of him holding weapons and with an apparent tattoo referencing a gang, and reacted to Moriarty’s presser by calling it “delusional and unhinged,” adding that her office should apologize to Londregan. He also called for Moriarty to resign.

“He deserves an apology,” Madel said. “He deserves an adult to stand up and say, ‘You know what? I messed up since day one. I made a major mistake.'”

Londregan’s lawyer added that the state trooper has “zero” regrets about his actions during the July 31 traffic stop.

Cobb’s family speaks out

Cobb family reacts to Londregan decision

Cobb family reacts to Londregan decision

Cobb’s family members call the decision to drop charges disrespectful and a miscarriage of justice.

The Cobb family, speaking out Monday for the first time since Moriarty’s office dropped charges against Londregan, explained they feel like there’s been a lack of transparency and they want answers.

“I have been lied to, you know, and this has been a joke from day one. They strategized this very well and they kept in contact with me and smiled in my face and had a dagger in my back all along,” said Nyra Fields-Miller, Cobb’s mother. “I’m so upset, disappointed and mad. My heart breaks every day.”

Supporting Families Against Police Violence and several other organizations stood with the family in front of the Hennepin County Government Center.

“It’s been almost a year since my brother been murdered, and then now they want to start it over,” Rashad Cobb, Ricky’s twin brother, said. “So for anybody, God willing, it don’t happen to anybody else, has to go through this just understand the games that they play.”

Community members are demanding justice for Cobb. They’re pushing for Moriarty to reconsider her decision and bring charges.

“Every time I see a picture of us, I don’t know if I want to feel happy or feel sad. I’m happy he’s gone from this evil world every day,” Cobb’s niece said at a Monday afternoon press conference. “It’s just harder and harder to live with the fact he’s not coming back. I just want to get justice from my uncle and I just want all this to be over.”

The family said this may be the end of the case, but they’ll continue to be vocal about demanding justice.