Connecticut State Trooper Faces Trial for Fatal Shooting of 19-Year-Old After High-Speed Chase

Milford, Connecticut – Jury selection is underway in the trial of Brian North, a Connecticut State Police trooper charged with the killing of 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane. The incident occurred in January 2020, following a police chase. North, who has pleaded not guilty, is facing charges of using excessive force.

According to state police, Soulemane had carjacked a vehicle in Norwalk and embarked on a 30-mile drive through rush-hour traffic before coming to a stop in West Haven. Body camera footage captured the moment police surrounded the car, with a West Haven officer breaking the passenger window and another trooper deploying a stun gun on Soulemane. In response, North fired his gun through the driver’s door window after Soulemane brandished a knife. Tragically, Soulemane succumbed to his injuries.

Recognizing the gravity of the case, the Inspector General conducted an investigation and found that at the time of North’s use of deadly force, neither he nor the other officers were in imminent danger of serious injury or death. Concluding that North’s actions were unjustified, the report questioned the necessity of his response.

North was arrested in April 2022 and received support from several fellow troopers during his first court appearance. The state police union argued that North acted objectively during a violent encounter, asserting that he was forced to make a decision in rapidly evolving and dangerous circumstances.

This trial is significant as it marks the first time in over a decade that an officer in Connecticut is facing charges in connection with a fatal shooting.

The incident sparked additional controversy due to Soulemane’s family highlighting that he was a community college student with schizophrenia. While this does not excuse his actions, it raises questions about whether the officers involved had received appropriate training to handle encounters with individuals with mental health conditions.

As the trial commences, the prosecution will aim to present evidence of North’s excessive use of force, while the defense will argue that he acted out of necessity to protect himself and his fellow officers. The outcome of this trial will undoubtedly have implications for future cases involving police use of force, especially in situations where individuals with mental health conditions are involved.

The jury selection process is underway, ensuring that a fair and impartial group of individuals will be responsible for deciding the outcome of this case. The trial itself is expected to shed light on the complex dynamics at play during encounters between law enforcement and individuals in crisis, highlighting the need for more comprehensive training and protocols in such situations.

The eyes of Connecticut and the nation will be on the proceedings as both sides present their arguments and evidence. The trial of Brian North will undoubtedly shape public opinion and potentially set precedent for future cases involving police officers and the use of deadly force.