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Minnesota Trooper Kills Black Motorist During Traffic Stop

A Minnesota state trooper shot and killed a 33-year-old Black motorist during a traffic stop Monday. The man’s death prompted an outcry from his family. Authorities said Thursday a handgun was found in the back of the vehicle, but “at no point on available video” is the driver seen holding the gun, the Washington Post reports. Troopers pulled over Ricky T. Cobb II, of St. Cloud, for allegedly having his taillights off. After pulling him over, troopers found that Cobb was wanted in connection “with a felony order for protection violation,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. Troopers are heard on body-camera video asking Cobb to exit the vehicle, but declining to tell him why. Cobb “refused” to get out of his car, Langer said, and the troopers are then seen on camera opening both car doors before the vehicle moves forward and a trooper opens fire. All three officers then ran back to their cars and drove until they found Cobb’s car slowing to a stop along the lane divider. One trooper asks another to hold Cobb at gunpoint as they apply gauze and tend to Cobb’s injuries. The troopers can be heard saying, “Keep breathing, man. Keep breathing.”

The three troopers involved, Ryan Londregan, Brett Seide, and Garrett Erickson have been placed on administrative leave, although local civil rights leaders have called for them to be fired. Londregan, who has about one-and-a-half years of law enforcement experience, is the trooper who fired his handgun, according to state authorities. He and Seide, who has about two years of experience, suffered minor injuries. Gov. Tim Walz tweeted that he had spoken with Cobb’s mother. “I assured her that a swift, thorough investigation has already begun and that we will do everything we can to get to the bottom of what happened,” Walz wrote. Cobb’s slaying comes just over six years after a Minnesota police officer fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop. Jeronimo Yanez,who shot Castile, was acquitted of killing the school cafeteria manager.


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