Trooper accused of fatally shooting motorist makes first court appearance

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota state trooper accused in the fatal shooting of motorist Ricky Cobb II can remain free without bail while awaiting trial, a judge ruled Monday during a brief court hearing.

Trooper Ryan Londregan must surrender his passport and avoid contact with witnesses and Cobb’s relatives, the judge ruled. The hearing was the first since Londregan was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Cobb, a 33-year-old Black man.

“It’s a start to something,” Cobb’s twin brother, Rashad Cobb, said of the legal proceedings. “And I thank God for that.”

Defense attorney Chris Madel has said that Londregan was acting to protect himself and a colleague. After the hearing, Madel spoke briefly to reporters while surrounded by dozens of current and former police officers.

“Thank you for showing up and we appreciate it,” he said. “Onward with the case.”

The shooting happened in Minneapolis, where the murder of George Floyd by police nearly four years ago sparked global protests on racial justice. In that case, then-officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years for second-degree murder.

Two other troopers pulled Cobb over on Interstate 94 on July 31 and noticed that the lights were out on the Ford Fusion that Cobb was driving, according to the criminal complaint.

One of the troopers, Brett Seide, checked Cobb’s record and found he was wanted for violating a protection order in neighboring Ramsey County. The troopers checked in with Ramsey County officials, who asked that Cobb be arrested.


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