Minnesota Democrats have accused the state trooper who killed Ricky Cobb II of “unjustifiably” lynching and executing him because of the color of his skin.
Cobb was shot to death during a traffic stop early Monday in Minneapolis by state trooper Ryan Londregan. He was pulled over by trooper Brett Seide on I-94 around 1:50 a.m. because his taillights were not on. Seide learned that Cobb was wanted in Ramsey County for violating an order for protection. Londregan and trooper Garrett Erickson arrived on the scene to assist.
All three troopers then approached Cobb’s car, asking him to get out and attempting to physically remove him because he refused to exit. As Londregan and Seide began to open the doors to his vehicle, Cobb put his left hand on the steering wheel and his right hand on the gear shift, according to body camera videos. Seide’s head and torso were inside the car, the videos show.
Video from trooper on passenger side: pic.twitter.com/o7S6NUVd3D
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) August 1, 2023
A squad camera video of the shooting clearly shows Cobb’s car moving before Londregan reached for and discharged his gun.
The BCA and eventually the Hennepin County Attorney's Office will be scrutinizing the video of the State Patrol's shooting of Ricky Cobb to determine if the deadly use of force was legally justified.
This is the squad car view from behind. I added a slow zoom to help see better. pic.twitter.com/1VWOdmCNbh
— Lou Raguse (@LouRaguse) August 2, 2023
Despite this, Rep. Leigh Finke, DFL-St. Paul, insisted Cobb was “shot twice before hitting the gas.”
“The video is the video. Reality is real. He stopped, was talking to the police, and was shot for it,” said Finke.
He stopped and had his hands on the wheel. He was shot twice before hitting the gas. The video is the video. Reality is real.
He stopped, was talking to the police, and was shot for it. https://t.co/TrmYlfGI8P
— Leigh Finke (@leighfinke) August 3, 2023
Sen. Zaynab Mohamed, DFL-Minneapolis, agreed: “He knew his rights, stayed calm, and kept his hands on the steering wheel, but he was still unjustifiably killed,” she said.
The video of Ricky Cobb II being shot and killed by a Minnesota State Trooper is deeply, deeply disturbing.
He knew his rights, stayed calm, and kept his hands on the steering wheel, but he was still unjustifiably killed. #BlackLivesMatter
— Zaynab Mohamed (@ZaynabMMohamed) August 2, 2023
Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega, DFL-St. Paul, claimed Cobb was “lynched” and “executed,” calling for the troopers who “executed” Cobb to be fired and charged.
The MN State Troopers who executed Ricky Cobb II need to be fired and charged. #JusticeForRickyCobbII
— Representative María Isa (@MariaIsa) August 3, 2023
Minneapolis City Council Member Jason Chavez suggested that Cobb’s skin color was “seen as a weapon.”
I call on our State leadership to use our tools for police accountability and fire the officers involved. 2/
— Jason Chavez – Minneapolis Ward 9 (@MplsWard9) August 2, 2023
“You don’t need to watch the horrific body cam footage released yesterday showing another Black man killed by cops to know that we’ve done far too little to stem the tide of racist violence that is policing in America,” added Council Member Robin Wonsley.
Ricky Cobb II was killed by state troopers Monday morning.
You don’t need to watch the horrific body cam footage released yesterday showing another Black man killed by cops to know that we’ve done far too little to stem the tide of racist violence that is policing in America.
— Robin4mpls (@robin4mpls) August 3, 2023
Left-wing agitator Cortez Rice posted Londregan’s alleged home address to Facebook, which was then shared over 500 times. Rice was charged with felony harassment in December 2021 for his role in leading a protest outside what he believed to be the home of Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu, who presided over the trial of convicted police officer Kim Potter. Those charges were later dropped.
It is a misdemeanor under state law to publish the home address of a law enforcement official if “the dissemination poses an imminent and serious threat to the official’s safety or the safety of an official’s family or household member.”
Earlier in the week, activist Jonathan Mason asked the public for assistance in finding “names, addresses, church locations, [and] family members” of the troopers involved in the shooting of Cobb.
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association urged elected leaders to “let the investigation and legal process continue without interruption or influence” in a statement this week.
“Comments by elected officials only undermine the importance of due process and our rule of law,” the group said.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident and will refer the case to Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty once the investigation is complete.
“I also know this community continues to navigate the trauma and grief that results from police violence and the tragic loss of our community members at the hands of law enforcement, no matter the circumstances,” Moriarty said in a statement. “And I know that our community wants answers. We will work as swiftly as possible to provide them.”