Investigators identified on Thursday the Minnesota State Patrol trooper who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop, a day after family and activists called for all three troopers involved in the stop to be fired.
Trooper Ryan Londregan shot 33-year-old Ricky Cobb II after he refused to leave his car during a Monday stop on a Minneapolis freeway, according to the Minnesota Public Safety Department’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The agency handles cases of officer-involved shootings.
Trooper Brett Seide initially pulled Cobb over when he saw the taillights were out on the Ford Fusion Cobb was driving, the bureau said in a statement.
The bureau said Seide checked Cobb’s record and found he was wanted for a “probable cause arrest for a felony order-for-protection violation” issued by the nearby Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.
Londregan and Trooper Garrett Erickson arrived later and helped as Seide tried to pull Cobb out of the car before Londregan shot him and Cobb drove away. The vehicle Cobb was driving stopped on the interstate shortly after that, and the bureau said the troopers attempted to save Cobb. He died at the scene.
The Hennepin County coroner ruled Cobb’s death a homicide caused by multiple gunshot wounds.
The three troopers are on administrative leave.
Black Lives Matter Twin Cities Metro, the Racial Justice Network, Black Lives Matter Minnesota, and Cobb’s relatives gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Wednesday to demand that the governor fire the state troopers who were involved in Cobb’s death and that the local prosecutor charge the officers in the case and issue a warrant for their arrests.
“The circumstances simply did not require the use of deadly force,” Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and founder of the Racial Justice Network, said in a Wednesday statement. “Those officers acted recklessly and they must be held accountable.”
Investigators found a handgun and two cartridge casings in the back of Cobb’s car but noted that dash and body camera footage does not show Cobb holding the weapon at any point during his interaction with law enforcement.
Footage shows Cobb holding his hands near the steering wheel as troopers talked to him.
In May 2020, the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police sparked a global protest movement and a nationwide reckoning on racism in policing.