A Connecticut State Trooper was arrested and charged in the shooting death of Mubarak Soulemane in West Haven in January 2020.
The Office of the Inspector General announced on Wednesday that Brian North had been charged with First-Degree Manslaughter after they say he shot and killed the 19-year-old following a pursuit.
The Inspector General’s Office also released the full report on the investigation into the shooting. The report states that North fired seven shots through the driver’s side window, striking Soulemane who had been holding a knife.
“Stated briefly, the investigation establishes that, at the time Trooper North fired his weapon, neither he nor any other person was in imminent danger of serious injury or death from a knife attack at the hands of Soulemane,” reads the report, which goes on. “Further, any belief that persons were in such danger was not reasonable.”
Following the announcement, members of the Connecticut State Police Union held a press conference to discuss the arrest. They defended North’s actions but said they would not debate the facts of the case in a public forum.
“Trooper North made a split-second decision during some very unusual and very difficult circumstances,” said Andrew Matthews, Executive Director for the Union. “And people have had over two years to analyze those facts and circumstances and we are very comfortable advocating and vigorously defending Trooper North and his actions of that day.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Connecticut State Police said that North turned himself in to the Inspector General on Tuesday evening. It also says that “Trooper North has been placed on paid administrative leave and his police powers have been suspended, pending criminal proceedings.” North was released on $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Milford Superior Court on May 3rd.
“That’s why we have an Inspector General, former Judge Devlin,” said Gov. Ned Lamont when asked about the arrest during a press conference at the Department of Transportation on Wednesday. “Independent, police aren’t investigating police, to give people confidence that we are holding people accountable, that’s what I think that this arrest means. Now let justice take its course.”