Soucheray: A tough job to do when too many in the political class are against you

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Up ahead, I saw a St. Paul police vehicle pull into an overlook on Mississippi River Boulevard. I did what I always do when I see the law. I slowed down. I wasn’t exceeding any limits. As I drew closer, I saw the officer get out of his squad and begin to walk to the edge of the wide and ancient ravine, 10,000 years old that cut, if not older.

For all I know, the guy might have lost a pair of sunglasses. I almost stopped, just for the hell of it, but I didn’t, on the off chance the officer might have wanted some solace. Good day for it. The wind was howling and all that roiling and fast-running water can put a fellow’s mind at ease, if only for a moment or two.

Soon enough, he had to get back behind the wheel and deal with life, or death, the reality of what has become of us. On May 30, a Minneapolis officer, Jamal Mitchell, was murdered by a career criminal, identified by authorities as Mustafa Mohamed, 35. Mitchell was responding to shots fired and an active shooter at an apartment complex on Blaisdell Avenue South. Mitchell saw Mohamed and believed him to need assistance, which he tried to offer.

Mohamed had two active warrants for his arrest at the time of his death; he was shot by other arriving officers. Mohamed was a convicted felon. He wasn’t supposed to have a gun. His criminal record goes back to when he was 17 and convicted of auto theft, according to news accounts.

“All I can tell you is that Officer Mitchell was attempting to assist the individual who shot him,” said Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans, “and that it happened very fast and that he ambushed him.”

Did he have a last moment of solace? Probably not. He was too busy working a mandatory overtime shift. He was working alone. Minneapolis is down a couple of hundred officers from a full roster, for a variety of reasons, including a not very thinly disguised disdain for law enforcement expressed in the last four years by too many political opportunists riding the hurricane of the George Floyd weekend.

Concurrently, and in great measure because of Mitchell’s murder, the case against State Trooper Ryan Londregan was dropped by Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty. Londregan shot Ricky Cobb II on July 31, 2023, during a traffic stop on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis. It’s not really a traffic “stop” when the motorist drives away with Londregan’s partner clinging to the open driver’s side and Cobb quite possibly trying to reach for a gun.

Moriarty desperately wanted to prosecute Londregan. Expert witnesses told Moriarty that Londregan acted as he must. She turned away from her office and offered $1 million to a group of presumably more aristocratic lawyers with a Washington, D.C., address, but even they told her she couldn’t prove that Londregan murdered Cobb. The governor, who reads tea leaves, said he was prepared to take away her case.

And then Mitchell got murdered, finally putting an anti-law enforcement agenda on ice, however temporarily.

That agenda is not gone, not with the people we’ve managed to elect.

I hope that copper in St. Paul found a moment of peace. And I hope all the cops in Minneapolis can find their own moment to gaze at the old river. What they do is not easy.

It’s tough to work your job when too many members of the political class think you’re not necessary.

Joe Soucheray can be reached at Soucheray’s “Garage Logic” podcast can be heard at

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