Conn. trooper charged with manslaughter 27 months after firing into boxed-in car
Trooper Brian North turned himself in over two years after Mubarak Soulemane, 19, was fatally shot at the end of a police chase.
A Connecticut state trooper has been charged with manslaughter 27 months after he fatally shot Mubarak Soulemane at the end of a police chase.
NPR is reporting that Trooper Brian North fired seven gunshots into a car when Soulemane was boxed in by other police cars at the end of the chase. North turned himself in on Tuesday and posted $50,000 bail. He has been placed on administrative leave and his police powers have been suspended.
The charges come 27 months after the chase that occurred when Soulemane, who is Black, allegedly carjacked a vehicle on Jan. 15, 2020, according to CBS News. The 19-year-old, from New Haven, reportedly struggled with schizophrenia and was armed with a knife when officers boxed in his car.
According to the CBS News report, officers fired a Taser at Soulemane which didn’t work. North shot seven times after Soulemane displayed the knife.
“Trooper North was risking his own life while trying to fulfill his oath of office to protect the lives of others,” the Connecticut State Police Union said in a statement, according to WFSB-TV. “Regardless of the Inspector General’s decision, we will respect the judicial process while we vigorously defend Trooper North and his actions. It is our obligation to protect Trooper North’s constitutional right to due process of law and a fair trial.”
Mark Arons, an attorney for Soulemane’s family, also released a statement, according to CBS News. “The family of Mubarak Soulemane is very happy that, after 2+ years, Trooper Brian North, who murdered Mubarak in West Haven in January 2020, may be brought to justice,” Arons wrote. “It’s a long road ahead. But this is a good day.”
Civil rights groups including the NAACP, as well as Soulemane’s family, said that the trooper, who is white, should not have shot him because he was surrounded and could not get away.
“Thank God Trooper Brian North was arrested,” Soulemane’s mother, Omo Mohammed, said in a statement provided by her lawyers, per NPR. “I now want to see him convicted and sent to jail.”
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