EXCLUSIVE: State Patrol chaplain speaks out in support of Trooper Ryan Londregan

Col. John Morris said "poor leaders at every elected level of leadership" have had a "devastating" impact on the morale of state troopers, who are growing "disillusioned" and "distrustful."

A longtime military chaplain with the State Patrol spoke exclusively to Alpha News on the impact Trooper Ryan Londregan's charges have had on the law enforcement community. (MADD Minnesota/Alpha News)

A longtime military chaplain with the State Patrol spoke exclusively to Alpha News on the impact Trooper Ryan Londregan’s charges have had on the law enforcement community, now reeling from the loss of two police officers and a fire medic in Burnsville.

Col. John Morris served as a military chaplain for more than 30 years. He’s now a volunteer chaplain with the Minnesota State Patrol and is able to speak freely as a volunteer for the agency.

“We’ve got great men and women who feel called to this tremendously difficult profession. But if I use three words to talk about the sense I get from professionals that I deal with, they’re discouraged, they’re disillusioned and they’re getting to be distrustful,” Chaplain Morris said.

“It’s tough times for them. They see the legal system failing to back them on a number of occasions. Assaults are increasing, so are the murder of police officers, as we tragically saw in Burnsville … officers are asking, ‘Why am I doing this … if my best day could still land me in jail, why do it?’ It’s a tough thing to hear from great young men and women,” he added.

Trooper Londregan, 27, had been on the job for a couple of years when in July, Ricky Cobb was pulled over by the Minnesota State Patrol.

A trooper initiated a traffic stop and discovered that Cobb was wanted in Ramsey County in connection to a felony order for protection violation.

Cobb refused to comply with orders to exit his vehicle, so one of the state trooper’s on scene opened Cobb’s door and tried to remove him.

However, Cobb put his vehicle in gear and attempted to drive away with the state trooper partially inside the vehicle. Londregan, who was on the passenger side of the car at the time, drew his firearm and shot Cobb. Video shows the trooper on the driver’s side was dragged by Cobb’s vehicle for a few feet before falling to the ground. Cobb died from the gunshot wounds.

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty charged Londregan with second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault.

“I can’t say this with enough vengeance and emotion, I was shocked and I’m still shocked,” Chaplain Morris said of the charges.

“That’s why I’m stepping out with you. I’m trying to turn my rage into something productive on behalf of a great young man and a great profession. Ryan’s right out of central casting. He’s the most wholesome professional any of us could ever hope to respond to the call of law enforcement. He’s got a beautiful family. He has an all-American background. He encounters a felon that Ramsey County has ordered to be held. And this encounter goes in a tragic direction because of the disobedience of a man who disrespected and refused to do what he was lawfully asked to do,” Morris said.

Video shows the trooper on the driver’s side was dragged by Cobb’s vehicle for a few feet before falling to the ground.

“There are some eerie similarities to the case in Burnsville. Domestic assault, felon, weapon he shouldn’t have had and in the case that Ryan was involved in, an automobile turned into a dangerous weapon. I’m using language right out of the Minnesota State Supreme Court ruling of the 24th of January, 2024, when automobiles were ruled to be dangerous weapons.

“When you’re dragging a police officer, you’re putting somebody’s life in danger. The Minnesota State Patrol has a lot of experience with automobiles and automobiles dragging people. Ryan should be given reasonable decision-making authority and not second guessed in hindsight. He had to do something in a split second to save his partner and himself from bodily harm and to stop a man who could have gone on to do what? What we saw in Burnsville? Do we need more officers murdered in the line of duty?” Morris asked.

Trooper Londregan and his wife attended a vigil in Burnsville the evening that Burnsville Police Officers Paul Elmstrand and Matthew Ruge and fire medic Adam Finseth were murdered.

Among those in attendance at Sunday night’s vigil for three fallen Burnsville first responders was Minnesota State Trooper Ryan Londregan. (Alpha News)

“For him to show up and want to support his brothers and sisters in blue through all of this, I think really does speak volumes about his character,” Morris said.

“It’s not enough for law enforcement to show up at funerals. It’s citizens that elect officials who make our laws. So, citizens need to decide if they’ve had enough of lawlessness, period. If you’ve had enough of lawlessness, then go down and enroll in a citizen academy at your local law enforcement agency. Find out what these people have to go through every day and the restrictions they have to deal with to try to protect you. And then inform your officials what you want to see in the laws that are made to protect you. Elect people that are law and order representatives. What we’ve seen in this case with Ryan, tragically, is, left or right, people have lacked the courage to stand up and say the obvious. This is a travesty. This case should be dismissed. It shouldn’t even have been brought … and yes, the county attorney seems to be off on some kind of fishing expedition based on an ideology.

“We need new officials. We need a new county attorney in Hennepin County, and we need 12 brave citizens who will resist mob behavior and think objectively about this case and exonerate this man and all of law enforcement and give back the ability to do their jobs. Take the shackles off of these officials that are out on the road to protect us and let’s take felons off the streets so we don’t have another Burnsville murder spree and we don’t have another Ryan Londregan’s life and his wife and child’s life ruined by the aspersions cast by this trial,” Morris said.

Gov. Tim Walz and Moriarty faced criticism after they took private meetings with Cobb’s family while the case was still under investigation.

“So many poor leaders at every level,” Morris commented. “Let’s go back to the Minneapolis riots. Why weren’t the State Patrol honored, lauded, and awarded for saving Minneapolis from itself? There’s no statue downtown to honor the State Patrol. Now, one of his own troopers does his job the way he was trained to do it and the felon’s family is met with, but the trooper’s put on leave. It’s shocking to me as a man who served in uniform and to have silence out of the governor’s office on behalf of the State Patrol, it’s devastating to the men and the women that serve in that maroon uniform.”



Liz Collin

Liz Collin has been a truth-teller for 20 years as a multi-Emmy-Award-winning reporter and anchor. Liz is a Worthington, Minnesota native who lives in the suburbs with her husband, son and loyal lab.