Minneapolis, MN — Less than six months after Ricky Cobb II, 33, was fatally shot by Minnesota State Patrol troopers, Ryan Londregan has been formally charged with three felonies, including murder. Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty announced on January 24, 2024, that her office filed charges against the 27-year-old Londregan for 2nd-degree murder without intent, 1st-degree assault causing great bodily harm, and 2nd-degree manslaughter.
Londregan is the first trooper in Minnesota ever charged with murder for a killing while on duty. If convicted, he faces a likely 10 to 15-year prison sentence. Londregan’s legal defense is being funded by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA).
Following the announcement of charges, Londregan’s defense attorney, Christopher Madel, posted a video chastising Moriarty and calling Londregan a “hero.” The trooper’s legal team filed motions for dismissal in which they attempted to redirect the narrative by mudding the case’s integrity, pushing unverified claims of grand jury process abuse and calling on the courts to disqualify the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO).
Londregan has his first court appearance on Monday, January 29, at 1:15 p.m. at the Public Safety Facility.
Watch the press conference announcing the charges below:
Father of two, Ricky Cobb II, was pulled over just before 2 a.m. on July 31, 2023, while driving on Interstate 94 West near 42nd Avenue North by State Trooper Brett Seide, who said Cobb didn’t have his tail lights on. Upon running Cobb’s information in the system, Seide was alerted that Ramsey County wanted Cobb arrested on probable cause for a previous violation of a protective order. Londregan and Garrett Erickson then pulled up as assisting troopers.
The officers told Cobb they wanted him to step out of the vehicle because they had “some stuff to talk about,” referring to planning to arrest him despite not having an official warrant. Cobb conversed with the officers for several minutes and asked to get his attorney involved while questioning the legality of the troopers’ efforts.
After not having his direct orders followed and with his service weapon in his hand, Londregan reached into Cobb’s passenger side window, unlocked it, and opened the passenger door. Seide then opened the driver’s side door in an apparent attempt to apprehend Cobb II. Seeing this, Cobb shifted the car from the park and took his foot off the brake.
Londregan then shot Cobb twice in the chest while screaming, “Get out of the car now!” The car lunged forward a few feet and stopped at the interstate’s median. Cobb bled to death.
The killing was another deadly incident in a cycle of violent acts perpetrated by Minnesota law enforcement against non-threatening Black males during traffic stops. Body camera footage of the incident was released to the public the next day, and protests occurred for several days following the killing.
Past coverage: ‘Traffic stops should not be death sentences’ – Trooper Kills Ricky Cobb II During Traffic Stop
Brandyn Tulloch, an artist and activist, said Cobb was “talking respectfully” to the troopers who only wanted Cobb to comply or die. “‘Do as you’re told, boy’… They believe that Black men, Black women, Black people in this country, you don’t get to ask questions. You do as you are told. You speak when you are spoken to. You act when I tell you to act. That’s what we see in the video. Three-fifths human – sometimes less than that,” said Tulloch.
Read the complaint against Londregan:
In their initial notice of defense filing (embedded below), Londregan’s legal team, made up of MPPOA defense attorneys Christopher Madel and Peter Wold, noted their belief that the trooper’s use of force was justified. They accused Moriarty’s office of ‘manufacturing’ charges and claim they bypassed a grand jury verdict based on testimonies that were “believed [to have happened], but not yet definitively known.”
Christopher Madel was a trial attorney for the Department of Justice for two years in the mid-90s and formerly with the law firm Robins Kaplan LLP before starting his firm, Madel PA. He’s represented high-profile clients like the late baseball Hall-of-Famer Kirby Puckett, and the Minnesota Vikings.
Peter Wold has been practicing law for over four decades. He represented Mohamed Noor, the first police officer in Minnesota ever convicted of murder for a killing while on duty. Wold also unsuccessfully defended former Minneapolis Police officer Thomas Tichich, who was found guilty of third-degree sexual conduct last year after raping a woman.
Read the notice of defenses:
In the short video released by Madel on his website calling Londregan a “hero,” he said Moriarty is “literally out of control” and ended the video by stating, “Open season on law enforcement must end. And it’s going to end with this case.”
The MPPOA released media statements on the day the charges were announced and the day after. MPPOA’s general counsel, Imran Ali, stated his claim that their client’s acts were within the law and that Moriarty “has made politics and ideology her source material, not the law.”
Londregan’s defense also filed a motion pushing for HCAO’s dismissal from the case titled as “defendant Ryan Londregan’s notice of motion and motion to dismiss the state’s complaint or, alternatively, disqualify the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for abuse of the grand-jury process.”
In this motion, the defense claims that “the State empaneled a grand jury and, when the grand jury did not return an indictment, proceeded to charge Defendant via Complaint, thus using the grand jury improperly as a substitute for discovery.” The defense also then filed a “proposed order granting” Londregan’s motions.
Read the motion to dismiss or disqualify:
According to the State Patrol’s parent agency, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there were 196 incidents where troopers used force out of 437,413 interactions with the public in 2022, and troopers killed three people. Numbers for 2023 are yet to be released.
Londregan will be asked to surrender his passport and firearms at court but has not spent any time in jail, and HCAO is not seeking bail.
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said, “Our hearts are with Ricky Cobb’s family today, who are grieving an unimaginable loss. I know that they are devastated and will continue to feel this loss for the rest of their lives.”
“A critical component of the work of the Minnesota State Patrol is engaging with drivers during motor vehicle stops. This is something that State Troopers do every day, and, as a result, they receive extensive training on how to do so safely and effectively. Trooper Londregan did not follow this training. These charges are appropriate based on the thorough investigation conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and attorneys in our office. This matter is now an active criminal prosecution. Because this matter is now an active criminal prosecution, and because we take the right to a fair trial seriously, we will have no further comment at this time.”Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty
Watch the video from protests on August 1, 2023:
Cover image by Niko Georgiades for Unicorn Riot.