Crime, Law and Justice

Ricky Cobb II family criticizes Moriarty’s decision to drop charges against Londregan

A person speaks
Rashad Cobb (center), the twin brother of Ricky Cobb II, speaks during a press conference at the Hennepin County Courthouse on Tuesday in Minneapolis.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

The family of Ricky Cobb II is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Cobb’s killing by a Minnesota state trooper Ryan Londregan last July. The move comes after murder and manslaughter charges against Londregan were dropped this week by Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty. 

At a press conference in the Hennepin County Government Center on Tuesday morning, members of Cobb’s family called for groups like the NAACP of Minneapolis to peacefully protest the decision.

“We’re asking for call to action, from the NAACP, civic organizations, our divine nines, the churches, all of those ‘progressives’ that say that they reside in Minnesota — all of those good folk that have good common hearts and good spirits that reside here in Minneapolis,” said Cobb family attorney Bakari Sellers. 

Cobb’s brother Rashad Cobb said the system failed his brother. 

“The only ones who can run around playing wild, wild west games are the ones who are supposed to uphold the law?” Rashad Cobb said. “When we don’t uphold the law, we do time or we get charged for the crime. So why do we look at police who murder and don’t get charged?”

A person speaks
Nyra Fields-Miller (right), mother of Ricky Cobb II, speaks during a press conference at the Hennepin County Courthouse on Tuesday.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Moriarty has said she made the decision partly after hearing defense attorneys argue that Cobb was reaching for Londregan’s gun and that the trooper was in fear for his life. Sellers said he’s never seen a prosecutor drop charges based on such a commonplace defense argument. 

“Every officer in the United States of America that’s been charged or accused of shooting someone unarmed has stated that they have been in fear for their life,” Sellers said. “So trooper Londregan’s excuse is not anything new.”

Sellers said Moriarty also told the family that her office didn’t have enough manpower to prosecute the case. The prosecution’s case was thrown into disarray when the lead attorney removed himself from it.

Moriarty received approval from the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners to bring in an outside law firm at a cost of up to $1 million. Outside attorneys from Steptoe LLP made their one appearance in court last month. 

The special prosecutors released recommendations for the State Patrol from the case, including a prohibition on shooting into or from a moving vehicle and a greater emphasis on de-escalation. 

The prosecution was controversial from the very start, with police groups organizing protests at court hearings and calling for Gov. Tim Walz to remove Moriarty from the case.

A persoon sheds tears
Ra’Kiyah Cobb, niece of Ricky Cobb II, sheds tears during a press conference outside the Hennepin County Courthouse on Monday.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Moriarty has condemned the “political circus” around the case and accused Londregan’s supporters of harassing members of Cobb’s family outside hearings, which an official with the Minneapolis Police and Peace Officers Association denied. 

Cobb was fatally shot during a traffic stop on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis in July of 2023. Londregan and a partner were seeking to force Cobb from his vehicle when he shifted the car into drive and it began to pull away. Londregan fired multiple times into the car. Cobb’s car came to a stop at the side of the freeway and he was declared dead at the scene.