‘Shame’: Dean Phillips criticized for comments on State Patrol shooting

Ricky Cobb II was shot to death by a state trooper during a traffic stop early Monday on I-94 in Minneapolis.

Dean Phillips
U.S. Congressman Dean Phillips speaking with attendees at the American Conservation Coalition's 2022 Summit at the JW Marriott Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips faced criticism Wednesday for claiming that the State Patrol shooting of Ricky Cobb II was “unjustifiable” while the investigation into the incident remains active.

“The video of Ricky Cobb II being shot and killed by MN State Troopers is deeply troubling, and I’m heartbroken by another senseless loss of life,” said Phillips, who was endorsed for reelection last year by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA).

“Law enforcement is a very difficult and risky job, but shootings like this are unjustifiable and more must be done to prevent them,” Phillips added.

Imran Ali, general counsel for MPPOA, took to his personal LinkedIn page to condemn Phillips’ comments.

“History is repeating itself in Minnesota. Again, we have elected officials, with no independent knowledge of the investigation, and within hours of the critical incident, commenting about a case that is UNDER INVESTIGATION. The word ‘unjustifiable’ is a legal conclusion based on ‘reasonableness.’ This conclusion would not be determined by a politician looking for clicks, but rather, the county attorney who is asking for legal and due process for all,” Ali wrote.

“Shame on Representative Dean Phillips for inserting himself on an active, criminal investigation.”

Cobb was shot to death by a state trooper during a traffic stop early Monday on I-94 in Minneapolis. He was wanted in Ramsey County in connection to a felony order for protection violation.

Body camera videos released Tuesday show Cobb refused to cooperate when he was asked to exit his vehicle.

The videos show multiple troopers opening the doors to the vehicle and attempting to remove Cobb, who then began to drive away as the trooper on the passenger side discharged his firearm.

The videos appear to show the troopers being dragged by the vehicle for a few feet before falling to the ground.

The investigation into the incident remains ongoing and law enforcement officials were unable to answer questions during a Tuesday press conference about whether Cobb was armed. Once the investigation is complete, the case will be referred to Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty for a charging decision.

“The incident is currently under investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and once complete, the Hennepin County Attorney will make any charging decisions. We ask everyone, including elected officials, to let the investigation and legal process continue without interruption or influence,” Ali said in a statement. “Comments by elected officials only undermine the importance of due process and our rule of law.”


Anthony Gockowski

Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.