A Minnesota state trooper was charged with murder on Wednesday for the fatal shooting of a Black driver at a traffic stop last July.
Ryan Londregan was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter over the killing of Ricky Cobb II, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty announced.
“As with all Minnesota law enforcement officers, state troopers may only use deadly force when it is necessary to protect a person from a specific identified threat of great bodily harm or death that was reasonably likely to occur. That did not exist in this case. Ricky Cobb II should be alive today,” Moriarty said.
Londregan shot Cobb during a July 31 traffic stop on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis, according to the Minnesota Public Safety Department’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which investigates shootings.
Cobb was initially pulled over by another trooper for a missing tail light on his vehicle, and Londregan was called to the scene when it was discovered Cobb had an active felony warrant for a protective order violation, according to the bureau’s investigation.
While attempting to pull Cobb out of his vehicle, Londregan shot Cobb. Cobb then drove a short distance before stopping the car. He died at the scene, the bureau said.
Londregan’s attorney denounced the criminal charge on Wednesday, calling the trooper a “hero.”
“This county attorney is literally out of control. Open season on law enforcement must end. And it’s going to end with this case,” Chris Madel said in a video statement.