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Prosecutors dismiss charges against Minnesota trooper in fatal shooting of motorist Ricky Cobb

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Minnesota county attorney Mary Moriarty announced on Sunday that she would be dropping the case against state trooper Ryan Londregan who was accused in the fatal shooting of Black motorist Ricky Cobb II. Moriarty cited new evidence that made it impossible for prosecutors to prove that Londregan’s actions were not an authorized use of force by a peace officer. The decision has sparked outrage from Cobb’s family who believe that justice is not being served in this case. The family’s attorneys criticized the dropping of the charges and accused the County Attorney’s Office of succumbing to political pressure.

Cobb, a 33-year-old man from Spring Lake Park, was pulled over by troopers on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis on July 31 for having his car lights out. When troopers discovered that Cobb was wanted for violating a protection order, they attempted to arrest him. However, Cobb tried to drive away and was shot twice by Trooper Londregan. The defense team for Londregan presented evidence during a court hearing in April that the trooper believed Cobb was reaching for a firearm and that he was never instructed to refrain from shooting into a moving vehicle.

The decision to drop the charges against Trooper Londregan has been met with mixed reactions. While his attorney, Chris Madel, welcomed the decision, Cobb’s family expressed their disappointment and frustration with the outcome. They believe that the dropping of charges is an indication that Black lives are not valued in the state of Minnesota. Cobb’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in April, alleging that the traffic stop and the subsequent shooting were unjustified.

Prosecutors and law enforcement experts reviewed footage from the scene and found that as Cobb’s partner clung to the passenger’s door, Cobb moved his hand upward. Although Cobb did have a gun in the vehicle, there is still no evidence that he intended to grab it. The defense team’s statements during the court hearing prompted prosecutors to reevaluate the evidence with a new perspective. County Attorney Moriarty ultimately concluded that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had occurred given the new evidence.

The dropping of charges against Trooper Londregan raises questions about accountability and justice within the criminal justice system. The decision has sparked debates about how law enforcement officers are held responsible for their actions and whether Black individuals receive fair treatment under the law. The implications of this case will likely continue to resonate within the community, especially among activists and advocates for police reform. As the case moves forward, it remains to be seen how the legal system will address the concerns raised by Cobb’s family and the broader community.

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