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Family responds to dropped charges in death of Ricky Cobb

Updated: Jun 4

A woman wearing a baseball cap, cate-eye glasses and hoop earrings speaks with a group standing behind her.
Nyra Fields-Miller, mother of Ricky Cobb

Ricky Cobb’s mother, Nyra Fields-Miller, says she feels betrayed after learning that charges are being dropped against the state trooper who shot her son. 

“I know I have been bamboozled. I have been lied to. And this has been a joke from day one. See, they strategize this very well. And they kept in contact with me and smiled in my face, and had a dagger in my back all along," she said at a press conference in front of the Hennepin County Government Center. "I am so upset, disappointed, and mad. My heart breaks every day.”

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty announced that her office is dropping charges against the Minnesota State Trooper who shot Ricky Cobb, due to additional evidence from the defense. 

“Make no mistake, Ricky Cobb was the victim in this case. Ricky Cobb should be alive today. And that makes our inability to move forward even more difficult for Mr. Cobb's family, and for our community. And for that, I'm deeply sorry,” said Moriarty.

Moriarty says her decision to drop the charges comes from the defense's recent stance that Cobb tried to grab officer Ryan Londregan’s gun when the troopers attempted to remove him from the vehicle.

“That's something that they had never said before,” says Moriarty. “So we went back and we looked at the video over and over in slow motion, what you can see from the video is that Mr. Cobb's hand at some point does come up. My guess by the way is that because Londregan opened the door, pointed the gun at him and started screaming at him, that his hand was coming up to protect himself. But the video doesn't prove that and it doesn't disprove what Londregan says.”

A young Black man looks soulfully into the camera. He has red tinted dreads and wears a New York Yankees baseball cap.
Ricky Cobb

Strom Law Firm, which is representing Cobb’s family, issued the following statement.

"While we are disappointed, we are not surprised because, like many, we have come to expect the absence of justice and accountability when Black lives are lost in this country. In fact, the state of Minnesota has repeatedly demonstrated that Black lives simply are not valued whether it's Daunte Demetrius Wright, Philando Castile or Ricky Cobb II.

"The simple fact is that, regardless of how many absurd excuses Trooper Londregan gives to try and absolve himself, he shot and killed Ricky Cobb II at point blank range without any justification and, instead of prosecuting him for murder, the County Attorney's Office has bowed to political pressure to drop the charges. Apparently, all you have to do to get away with murder is to bully the prosecutors enough and the charges will just go away.

"The people don't believe the excuses and neither do we." 

Londregan’s attorney, Chris Madel, simply said “It’s about goddamn time.”

In January, Moriarty charged state trooper Ryan Londregan with second-degree  unintentional murder, first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter for shooting and killing 33-year-old Ricky Cobb during a traffic stop on July 31, 2023. Cobb was pulled over on the 94-interstate for a traffic violation until Londregan’s partner, Brett Siede, discovered that Cobb faced a no-contact order violation. Despite there not being an arrest warrant, Siede contacted Ramsey County to see if Cobb was to be arrested. 

According to the complaint, Ramsey County requested Cobb be brought in and Londregran proceeded to ask Cobb to exit his vehicle. The complaint said Cobb refused to get out of the vehicle, and the body and dash camera footage shows Londregan and Seide attempting to force him out. Cobb was shot twice in the chest by Londregan in his vehicle. The complaint said Cobb shifted the car into drive and attempted to take his foot off the brake, and Londregan felt his partner’s life was in danger. Attorney Chris Madel called Londregan a hero, while Mary Moriarty said the use of deadly force was not justifiable. 

“We believe then, and we believe now, based on that evidence, we made the correct decision to charge Mr. Londegran,” said Moriarty. 

Moriarty says the Hennepin County Attorney's Office charged Londregan with the death of Ricky Cobb based on their review of the evidence that existed at the time. 

This includes the BCA investigation, which she says was hampered by the refusal of members of the Minnesota State Patrol to participate in interviews, as well as the body and dash cam footage, and supplementary witness statements made in the grand jury investigation. Moriarty had many opponents prior to dropping this charge. The day the charges were announced, she says a video was released by the defense deeming her out of control and declaring that there was a war on law enforcement, which was “going to end in this case.” She says the video made her feel personally threatened, which she acknowledges as a tactic to silence prosecutors of law enforcement.

“I came to realize that their strategy essentially was to use scorched earth tactics to attempt to intimidate anybody involved in this case, or anyone who might consider trying to hold a police officer accountable in the future. And this is a strategy that is being used across the country, which I know from talking to prosecutor colleagues,” says Moriarty.

She says the case had to be handed to federal prosecutors of the Steptoe International law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. due to lack of local support.

“No one else we contacted in Minnesota wanted to be the recipient of the defense’s attacks that they knew would come along with this case. And this includes Ramsey County. Now, that could have been the end of it, not being able to find anybody in Minnesota who wanted to be the subject of these continued attacks. But we didn't give up. We didn't give up at that time. Because we believed we had rightfully charged him, and that we had a case which we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Moriarty.

Ultimately, Moriarty says the defense's claim of Cobb attempting to reach for Londregan’s gun eliminated any chance of her succeeding with the case. 

“Once an officer says that he used deadly force to prevent imminent great bodily harm or death to himself or others, the burden shifts to us beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest standard in the system to prove that that was not true. And the expert witnesses in use-of-force cases focus pretty much only on those seconds when the shots happened, and what a reasonable officer could have perceived. So when we got this information, we had to assess what it meant for the case. And we took the new evidence to a use-of-force expert – whose analysis led us to conclude that based on that new evidence – we would no longer be able to succeed at trial,” says Moriarty. “We do not believe we would have even made it to the jury.”


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