The Potluck

Walz promises thorough investigation of State Patrol’s fatal shooting of Ricky Cobb

By: - August 2, 2023 4:49 pm

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday released his first public statement regarding a State Patrol officer shooting and killing Ricky Cobb II. Photo by Michelle Griffith/Minnesota Reformer.

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday made his first public comments regarding a State Patrol officer shooting and killing Ricky Cobb II during a traffic stop in Minneapolis on Monday.

Walz released a statement on social media, saying that he offered his condolences to 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 said.

Cobb died of multiple gunshot wounds shortly after being pulled over by the State Patrol for having no tail lights on. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the incident. 

During a news conference on Tuesday, State Patrol Chief Col. Matt Langer said that Cobb was wanted by Ramsey County law enforcement because of an alleged felony for a “protection violation.” 

Body camera footage shows a trooper during the traffic stop speaking to Cobb, who is Black, through the driver’s side window. The trooper asks Cobb to get out of the car. Cobb questioned the command, asking whether he was pulled over because of a warrant. The trooper says no.

The trooper repeatedly asked Cobb to leave the car, which he refused to do, according to the body cam footage.

A second trooper then approached the passenger-side door and opened it. The first trooper also opened the driver’s door and they attempted to remove Cobb, according to body and dash cam footage. The car appeared to move forward, and then shots were fired. 

Langer said the trooper who was standing at the passenger-side door fired his weapon. The troopers appeared to fall to the ground as Cobb’s vehicle drove forward.

Body cam footage then shows the troopers running to their patrol cars and catching up to Cobb’s car, using their vehicles to pin Cobb’s car to a guardrail. 

The troopers attempted to administer first aid to Cobb.

The State Patrol has not identified the troopers, who have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard.

In a statement, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association asked that everyone let the BCA conduct its investigation uninterrupted. 

“We ask everyone, including elected officials, to let the investigation and legal process continue without interruption or influence. Comments by elected officials only undermine the importance of due process and our rule of law,” the statement says. 

Black Lives Matter Minnesota, community organizers and Cobb’s family are planning to hold a press conference late Wednesday afternoon to discuss their “demands in this case,” according to a release.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Michelle Griffith
Michelle Griffith

Michelle Griffith covers Minnesota politics and policy for the Reformer, with a focus on marginalized communities. Most recently she was a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota where she covered state and local government and Indigenous issues.