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Ricky Cobb II death during stop by Minnesota State Patrol

Minnesota State Patrol Colonel Matt Langer stands by as bodycam and dash cam footage of the police shooting death of Ricky Cobb II plays at a press conference on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, in St. Paul, Minnesota. | Source: Star Tribune via Getty Images / Getty

The police officer accused of murdering an unarmed Black driver in Minneapolis last summer didn’t follow the proper law enforcement protocol during the fatal encounter, according to a noted criminologist who played a pivotal role in legal proceedings surrounding George Floyd’s police murder.

Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Ryan Londregan was charged last week in the killing of Ricky Cobb II with second-degree unintentional murder, first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter more than six months after a pretextual traffic stop led to what critics say was unnecessary police violence.

Among those critics is Dr. Geoffrey Alpert, an internationally recognized law enforcement expert who testified as a witness in the civil lawsuit filed by Floyd’s family against the city of Minneapolis and the four officers convicted for their roles in the police murder. Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina specializing in police use of force, pointed to the video footage recorded via body and dashboard cameras as showing evidence supporting criminal charges against Londregan, who is white.

“Review of the body-worn camera video raises serious questions and red flags about policy violations and the use of excessive force,” Alpert, whose testimony helped secure a historic $27 million settlement for Floyd’s family, said in a statement emailed to NewsOne.

Alpert also noted: “The video can be used as an example of what a police officer should not do and if the officers had followed protocol and accepted police practices, it is likely that Ricky Cobb II would be alive today.”

Video from the incident was released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (MDPS) and showed Cobb, 33, was pulled over for not having his rear lights on. While three officers responded to the initial incident, Londregan was the only one to discharge his firearm.

According to the family attorneys, MDPS has said that “At no point on available video” is Cobb holding a gun.

Bakari Sellers, one of the civil rights attorneys representing Cobb’s family, placed the blame on Londregan and the other officers who responded.

“Watching this video is like watching a trainwreck,” Sellers said in a statement. “No one tried to de-escalate the situation. No one tried to protect his life. Trooper Ryan Londregan pulled the trigger, but he’s not the only one responsible for Ricky Cobb’s death.”

Londregan had his first court appearance Monday as a judge gave him the privilege of remaining free without having to pay a bond while awaiting his trial. The conditions for Londregan’s freedom include surrendering his passport, having no contact with Cobb’s family, not transporting guns, obeying the law and being present for subsequent court dates.

“It’s a start to something,” Cobb’s twin brother, Rashad Cobb, told the Associated Press about Londegran’s appearance in court. “And I thank God for that.”

Londegran is next scheduled to be back in court on April 29.

What happened to Ricky Cobb II?

On July 31, 2023, 33-year-old Ricky Cobb II was pulled over by state troopers on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis.

During the traffic stop, officers tried to arrest Cobb and take him into custody for allegedly violating a restraining order. As they tried to take him out of his vehicle, Cobb took his foot off of the brake pedal and was promptly shot in the chest by Londregan. Cobb died on the scene.

In the days after the fatal shooting, Cobb’s family was joined by Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, the Racial Justice Network and Black Lives Matter Minnesota as they rallied in front of Hennepin County Government Center demanding Gov. Tim Walz hold the officers involved in Cobb’s death accountable.

Cobb’s mother, Nyra Fields-Mille, previously described her experience following her son’s death.

“I’m exhausted,” Fields-Miller said at the time. “My heart is heavy every day for the last three days. Waking up, I have migraines. And I’m hurt. I would like those officers to man up.”

Earlier this month, Cobb’s family filed a complaint with the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) about the events that led to the untimely death. POST put new changes in place in May that allow the board to revoke the license of an officer for violating its conduct guidelines without being charged or convicted of a crime.

The rule was put in place after Derek Chauvin murdered Floyd in 2020.

Londegran was finally charged last Wednesday.

“Our hearts are with Ricky Cobb’s family today, who are grieving an unimaginable loss,” Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said during a news conference announcing the charges. “I know that they are devastated and will continue to feel this loss for the rest of their lives.”

Cobb’s family, along with their attorneys, released a statement after the charges were announced and thanked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. However, they are still grieving for the loss of their loved one.

“Ryan Londregan stole my son from me,” Cobb’s mother, Fields-Miller, said following the charges being announced. “He gunned Ricky down my son for no reason while he was defenseless. Nothing can ever make up for that. But today’s decision is the first step toward closure and justice.”


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