MINNEAPOLIS — The family of a suburban Spring Park Lake man who was shot fatally by a state trooper during a 2023 traffic stop filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. The suit asks damages from the State Patrol for actions of troopers Brett Seide, who made the stop, and Ryan Londregan, who fired the fatal shot. Both troopers are white. Killed was Ricky Cobb II, age 33, who was black. The lawsuit doesn’t specify how much is sought in civil damages. The core claim is that it was unreasonable for Londregan to shoot and that neither trooper had reason suspict that Cobb posed a threat. There seems to be agreement on most of these details on what happened that night:

> Seide pulled Cobb over on Interstate 94 last July because his car lights were out.

>  Seide checked Cobb’s record and found a protection order violation in neighboring Ramsey County. A dispatcher asked the trooper to arrest Cobb.

> Londregan arrived to assist.

>The troopers told Cobb he he was under arrest and asked him to get out of hos car. Londregan reached inside and began opening a car door.

> Cobb shifted into drive and began to move slowly forward.

> Londregan reached for his gun, and Cobb braked to a stop.

> Londrgan pointed his gun at Cobb and yelled at him to get out. Cobb took his foot off the brake again.

> Londregan fired his handgun twice at Cobb, both times in the chest.

> The car rolled a quarter mile into concrete median

> Cobb died at the scene.

High-profile case

The Ricky Cobb case quickly became a new focal point in Minneapoliis race relations. Bad feelings were still unhealed from four yesrs earlier and the white police killing of George Floyd, a black man, which triggered demands, some violent, for racial jusyice. After the Ricky Cobb death this past May, Governor Tim Walz met with the Cobb family but didn’t act on their demand for the case to be taken away from the Hennepin County prosecutor and turned over to state Attorney General Keih Ellison. It was Ellison who successfully prosecuted the George Floyd case. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, meanwhile, claims that Londregan and Siede acted lawfully and consistent with State Patrol use-of-force policies. Republicans have made the case a political issue. The governor, Tim Walz, and the attorney general, Keith Ellison. are Democrats. Republicans want Congress to investigate the Hennepin County decision to charge the trooperd. They allege “a deliberate attempt to use the Hennepin County attorney’s office to target police.”

Londregan. Age 27. Had received use-of-force instruction at the Minnesota State Patrol Training Academy in St. Cloud in 2021 nd 2022.

Cobb. Age 33.  A maintenance mechanic with a roofing contractor.