Ricky Cobb II shooting: Mary Moriarty discusses dismissal of Trooper Londregan case

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty discussed the decision to dismiss the case against Minnesota State Trooper Ryan Londregan in the killing of Ricky Cobb II in a press conference on Monday.

Moriarty held a press conference at 8:30 a.m., which can be watched in the video above.

Moriarty filed a notice to dismiss charges against Londregan, saying defense lawyers presented many new pieces of evidence that made it "impossible" to prove the shooting death of Cobb II was not an authorized use of force incident by Londregan. 

Prosecutors dropped the case after hearing new testimony from Londregan, where he claimed he saw Cobb II reach for his firearm shortly before Londregan fired gunshots that ultimately killed Cobb. Also, prosecutors say a Minnesota State Patrol trainer claimed he never instructed officers to hold back from shooting into a moving car while trying to get a suspect out of the car but said refraining from firing at a moving car is "best practice." 

After these testimonies, and working with a use of force expert, Moriarty and prosecutors in the case decided to dismiss the case.

"This was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made," Moriarty said Monday.

Moriarty made the decision official with a formal filing. She emphasized that the case was never about politics, but instead blamed systemic barriers that prevent prosecutors from holding law enforcement accountable when they kill in the line of duty. Moriarty cited new evidence from the defense that emerged in recent weeks, which led her to conclude there was no path forward for the case.

"We do not believe we would have even made it to the jury," Moriarty stated.

Londregan shot Ricky Cobb II during a traffic stop last summer when Cobb ignored commands to step out of his vehicle and attempted to drive off. Moriarty maintains her belief in the case but admitted that ethically, there was no way to secure a conviction, particularly after learning in late April that Londregan was prepared to testify he thought Cobb was reaching for the trooper’s gun at the door moments before he fired.

"You can see Cobb's hand go up and over," said Chris Madel, Londregan’s defense attorney.

Madel criticized the county attorney's handling of the case, including the hiring of an outside team of former federal prosecutors.

"This county attorney was hellbent on prosecuting a cop," Madel said. He also presented sworn statements from the trooper’s trainers, showing that Londregan complied with all policies and protocols of the State Patrol. Madel believes that instead of being charged as a criminal, Londregan deserves to be hailed as a hero for saving his partner’s life.

"This is a true public servant, and that's what he wants to do," Madel added.