Prosecutors dismiss charges against Minnesota trooper who shot motorist Ricky Cobb

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors consider dismissing murder and manslaughter charges against a white Minnesota state trooper who fatally shot Ricky CobbIIa black motorist as Cobb attempted to drive away from a traffic stop, saying the decision followed recent statements from the officer’s attorney and a new analysis of video from the scene.

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty filed a notice of dismissal of the charges after Trooper Ryan Londregan’s defense team revealed potential testimony at an April court hearing that the trooper believed Cobb was reaching for a gun — and that a Minnesota State Patrol trainer said he never asked officers to do so. Avoid shooting at a moving vehicle.

The evidence would have prevented prosecutors from proving that Londregan’s actions did not constitute an authorized use of force by a peace officer, the county attorney’s office said in a statement released Sunday.

Referring to the decision to drop the charges, Londregan’s attorney, Chris Madel, told the Grandstand of the stars, “It’s about fucking time.” This will be my only official comment.

Bakari Sellers, an attorney representing Cobb’s family, told the Star Tribune that the family was disappointed in prosecutors.

“They were bullied. There’s no other way around it,” Sellers said.

Londregan, 27, pleaded not guilty May 15 in Cobb’s death, and his trial was scheduled to begin in September. 9.

Officers stopped Cobb, 33, on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis on July 31 because his car’s lights were out. They then found that the Spring Lake Park man wanted for violating a protection order in neighboring Ramsey County. Londregan shot Cobb twice as Cobb tried to run away after troopers ordered him out of his car.

Prosecutors and a law enforcement expert reviewed footage from the scene and found that as Londregan’s partner held on to the passenger door, Cobb raised his hand upwards. Cobb had a gun in the vehicle. Moriarty told the Star Tribune that there was still no evidence that he intended to collect them, but that the defense team’s statements caused prosecutors to reconsider the evidence from a new perspective.

“They could have told us before they filed charges, they could have told us at any time,” she said. “And that’s information that we would have taken into account – and obviously have taken into account.”

Law enforcement and Republican leaders called out the Democratic government. Tim Walz will take the case off Moriarty, a former public defender who was elected on a police accountability platform following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis officer in 2020, and entrust it to Democratic Attorney General Keith Ellison. Walz had expressed concern about the direction of the case but had not acted.

Cobb’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in April, Alleging that the arrest and shooting were unjustified.

Moriarty plans to hold a news conference Monday morning to further discuss his decision to dismiss the charges.

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