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Minnesota State Patrol's use-of-force expert says trooper who killed Ricky Cobb II "acted in accordance with training"

Minnesota State Patrol's use-of-force expert says trooper who killed Ricky Cobb II "acted in accorda
Minnesota State Patrol's use-of-force expert says trooper who killed Ricky Cobb II "acted in accorda 01:51

MINNEAPOLIS — A document released Wednesday sheds new light on Minnesota State Patrol trooper Ryan Londregan's use of force in the deadly shooting of Ricky Cobb II, revealing new testimony from the state patrol's use-of-force expert who claims that Londregan "acted in accordance with his training."

The affidavit was filed by the State Patrol's use-of-force expert and was filed in a public electronic system. WCCO obtained the affidavit shortly after it was filed Wednesday morning, but the document has since been temporarily sealed and is, as of now, no longer available to the public.

On July 31, Londregan shot and killed Ricky Cobb II after he allegedly refused to leave his vehicle and attempted to drive away. Londregan is charged with felony counts of second-degree unintentional murder, first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter.

Ricky Cobb II WCCO

According to the document, Sgt. Jason Halvorson — who has been with the state patrol for 25 years and is the coordinator for the Minnesota State Patrol Training and Development Section, and created the use-of-force training program used by the law enforcement agency — testified that troopers Brett Seide and Londregan attended the 63rd and 65th training academies, where he served as a use-of-force coordinator.

"The academy trains cadets how to make lawful decisions on use-of-force and to know how the courts determine how much force is acceptable. Our training includes verbal de-escalation and the value or sanctity of human life in every encounter," Halvorson testified.

He also made it clear in the newly-released testimony that he did not recall any "deficits, concerns or need for remedial training for either Trooper."


Halvorson went on to claim that Joshua Larson, the Senior Assistant County Attorney, and Mark Osler, Deputy County Attorney — the attorneys who interviewed Halvorson in the original criminal complaint — "cherry-picked" portions of his interview that didn't include the full context. 

"The author of the complaint (signed by Mr. Osler) has cherry-picked one sentence from a 37-page interview transcript and excluded critical facts and context thereby purposefully misleading the reader of the complaint," Halvorson said. 

The first example listed in the document came from the complaint, reading:

"BCA agents attended an interview with the State Patrol's lead use-of-force trainer, Trainer A, who provided use-of-force training to the Defendant and Trooper A. Trainer was asked whether reasonable officer would believe that pointing gun at fleeing driver and yelling at the driver to stop would cause the driver to stop. Trainer said, "No." Trainer was asked, "Would it be foreseeable to expect the exact opposite, meaning [the driver] would continue to leave?" Trainer responded, "That was probably his intention was to flee the area, so he's gonna keep going in that direction away from me."   

In response, Halvorson claimed that "the author of this statement has lied by omission," because the question that was posed to him was a hypothetical involving Halvorson performing a single trooper stop. Also, the hypothetical examined de-escalation rather than flight, Halvorson claimed. 

"This specific hypothetical, and many of the hypothetical question (sic) posed, were in no way related to the factual events surrounding Trooper Londregan's situation or use of force training," Halvorson said.

The document shows that later on during Halvorson's initial interview with Larson and Osler, Larson posed this hypothetical to him:

"With regard to the third hypothetical that pose to you is situation in which uh man is holding an infant over balcony and says will drop this child and there's situation in which you know you could use deadly force on that individual but yet it wouldn't help that situation, it wouldn't reduce the risk of great bodily harm or death to that victim. ln situation like that would you agree that's situation in which you foresee someone at risk of great bodily harm or death but it does not authorize the use of deadly force?" 

Halvorson did note that he did not complete a use-of-force review on Londregan's actions during his stop with Cobb, despite offering to do so for the attorneys. According to Halvorson, they declined.

Halvorson explained that the training academy consists of a scenario-based 14-week course. He was in charge of the use-of-force section, which includes taser training as well as de-escalation techniques like command presence, warnings, verbal persuasion and tactical repositioning.

Halvorson ends his testimony by noting, "Trooper Londregan acted in accordance with his training. Trooper Londregan did not violate the use-of-force General Orders including, but not limited to the use-of-force policy found at 10-027."

Defense Attorney Joe Tamborino, who is not affiliated with this case, says this is devastating to the state's case.

"It places the county attorney herself and her prosecution team in jeopardy they could be violating ethical rules specifically rule 3.8 the duties of a prosecutor as well as subjecting themselves to a malicious prosecution charge," Tamborino said. "An affidavit is a sworn statement this trainer this person who put the affidavit together swore to tell the truth under oath so according to this affidavit he didn't say that he never actually said that trooper Londergan disobeyed his rules of training."

Hennepin County Attorney's Office releases statement 

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office released a statement following the filing of the affidavit, saying there is "significant evidence" that supports charges in the case. 

"Unfortunately, the defense continues to inappropriately use the court process to file baseless press releases. Now, they have introduced false accusations against Deputy County Attorney Mark Osler. There is significant evidence that supports the charges in this case. The complaint is accurate and lays out the evidence to establish probable cause.

"The affidavit filed by the defense notably doesn't reference evidence revealed during the Grand Jury, during which Sergeant Halverson testified. As the defense knows, the law prevents us from revealing Grand Jury evidence at this stage of the proceedings, and also prevented this information from being included in the complaint. We will address the voluminous defense filings and litigate the case in court, and not in the press."

During a press conference on Monday about the state's supplemental budget proposal, Gov. Tim Walz was asked about the Londregan case. Walz responded, questioning the strategy of Moriarty's office regarding use-of-force expert Jeff Noble.

RELATED: Attorneys for Minnesota trooper who killed Ricky Cobb II, Hennepin County attorney wrangle over use-of-force expert's opinion

"As a layman on this, why would you not listen to use-of-force? Why would that not be central to something you do? And I will say if there are allegations at this time, release documents and let us know," Walz said.

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