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Walz said he plans to remove Moriarty from prosecution for the murder of a state trooper

A day after Hennepin County District Attorney Mary Moriarty announced she would drop murder and manslaughter charges against a Minnesota trooper, Gov. Tim Walz, who has publicly criticized Moriarty’s handling of the case, revealed that intends to use his legal authority to remove her from prosecution.

“Yes, we would have done it,” Walz said at a news conference Monday, adding that if Moriarty had not dropped charges against Ryan Londregan, 27, in the shooting death of driver Ricky Cobb II, he would have took action”. soon.”

“I think what became apparent to a lot of people is that there were problems with the prosecution from the beginning,” he said.

Moriarty told the Star Tribune on Sunday that he decided to dismiss the charges because of new evidence that raised ethical concerns about the proceedings — not for political reasons. She said she had never heard from the governor and didn’t know if he planned to drop the case, as a police organization had requested, but believed it was possible because of the current “politicized environment,” especially after the killing of a police officer. Minneapolis police last week.

“Who knows, right? And that would be tragic,” she said. “I mean I’m able to do my job. I do it here, right? It will probably have some political consequences for me, but as I have always said, the people did not elect me to make political decisions. They chose me to make courageous ethical decisions.”

Moriarty said the decision was based on a prosecution expert’s new analysis of video from the scene and statements from Londregan’s attorney about what his client intended to say on the stand. The attorney, Chris Madel, said in an April court hearing that Londregan feared for his partner’s life because he believed Cobb was reaching for Londregan’s gun. Moriarty said the defense team had not previously raised that legal claim, and another review of the video showed Cobb’s hand flailing upward, which the expert determined made the shooting legal.

“This is not a situation where we are backing down,” Moriarty said. “It’s a situation of recognizing that, given all the barriers that are put in place in these types of cases and the new information that’s come out, we just can’t go forward ethically.”

Before Walz made those comments Monday, Moriarty criticized him for his earlier comments about her office’s handling of the case, given that Walz oversees the Department of Public Safety and therefore state troopers and Londregan.

“I think it’s because I’m a queer woman in the role,” Moriarty told the Star Tribune. “I think it’s because they’re looking at the political winds and which way they’re blowing and I think that’s what they’re reacting to. Which is terrible. You know, if we want people to trust the system, that’s not the way to do it. .”

Walz denied bias played into his comments. “Well, that’s false,” he said. “Next question.”