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Ricky Cobb II's family files federal civil rights lawsuit against troopers Ryan Londregan, Brett Seide

Rocky Cobb II’s family files civil rights lawsuit against troopers involved in his death
Rocky Cobb II’s family files civil rights lawsuit against troopers involved in his death 02:51

MINNEAPOLIS — The family of Ricky Cobb II on Wednesday morning filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state trooper that fatally shot him and another trooper involved in the traffic stop that preceded his killing.

The lawsuit accuses Ryan Londregan and Brett Seide of unreasonable seizure and excessive use of force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. It was filed by civil rights attorney Bakari Sellers, along with Harry Daniels and F. Clayton Tyler on behalf of Cobb's mother Nyra Miller-Fields.

"People have treated this officer like he is the victim in this case and so we're here today to say that Ricky Cobb II lost his life but he should be here today," Sellers said at a press conference Wednesday morning.

Cobb, 33, was pulled over in the early hours of July 31 on Interstate 94 for not having his tail lights on. He was wanted by Ramsey County law enforcement for violating a no-contact order in a domestic case.

Body camera video showed Londregan, Seide, and another officer stand on either side of Cobb's car. The lawsuit says Londregan and Seide unreasonably seized Cobb by ordering him out of the car without explaining if he was under arrest, and by reaching into the car and grabbing him in an attempt to "forcibly remove him." The troopers also used "unnecessary, excessive, and deadly force" on Cobb, the lawsuit says.

Londregan shot Cobb twice in the torso, and he died after a brief pursuit on the highway.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office charged Londregan with second-degree unintentional murder, first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter in January. But since then, the largest police organization in the state has accused Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty of ignoring an expert's opinion on Londregan's use of deadly force and requested that Gov. Tim Walz hand over the case to the attorney general. The police organization and his lawyers argue that Londregan was following his training and protecting his partner.

MORE: MPPOA renews call for Walz to reassign Londregan case after instructors say he was following training

Moriarty's office, however, argued the defense "cherry-picked" information from a preliminary conversation. 

Sellers threw his support behind Moriarty, arguing that she should keep the criminal case against Londregan. He added that she had been open and honest with Cobb's family, and appreciated her transparency. 

Some Republican representatives have called for Moriarty's office to be investigated.

"Where was that Republican caucus when George Floyd was murdered? Where was that Republican caucus when Duante Wright was killed? Where was that caucus when that Minneapolis police officer shot and killed a woman and went to prison? Where was that caucus then?" said community activist Spike Moss.

"We want you guys to understand these are laws set in place for everybody and people that have badges don't get set aside," said Rashad Cobb, Ricky Cobb's twin brother. "We want equality, we want justice, we want our peace and above all we want our freedom."

Ultimately, Cobb's family is seeking financial compensation. While the lawsuit itself does not clarify how much they are seeking, the same group of attorneys representing them demanded $25 million in damages from the state in February.

In a statement, Londregan's attorneys say they will fight the civil charges with the same vigor they are fighting his criminal charges.

If convicted on the criminal charges, Londregan could face up to 40 years in prison. 

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