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News

Mubarak Soulemane was ‘executed’ by state trooper, family attorney says

The Connecticut state trooper who shot and killed a 19-year-old Black man, Mubarak Soulemane, after a high-speed chase in 2020 was arraigned Thursday in a Milford courthouse.

Brian North, who is white, has pleaded not guilty to a manslaughter charge.

Omo Mohammed, Soulemane’s mother, said she wants North to be found guilty.

“That’s what justice is for,” Mohammed said after the arraignment. “Brian North has to be held accountable for killing my son.”

Brian North Arraignment
Ryan Caron King
/
Connecticut Public
Omo Klusum Mohammed (right), the mother of Mubarak Soulemane, listens during a news conference outside Milford Superior Court after State Trooper Brian North pleaded not guilty to a manslaughter charge brought against him for the shooting of Soulemane in 2020.

A state investigation into the shooting found that Soulemane was pursued on Interstate 95 by state police on the evening of Jan. 15, 2020.

Investigators said he was stopped in West Haven, boxed in by police when a taser was deployed. The report states that Soulemane was in the driver’s seat of a stolen car, pointing a kitchen knife toward the ceiling. North fired seven shots into the driver’s side, killing Soulemane.

Robert Devlin, Connecticut’s state investigator general, ruled that North’s deadly use of force was not justified.

Sanford Rubenstein, a civil rights lawyer representing Soulemane’s family, said video of the incident would prove North’s guilt.

“Pictures of the truth: It will be clear that this was an execution,” Rubenstein said.

North was accompanied to the arraignment by a group of men, including Andy Matthews, executive director of the State Police Union. North and Matthews declined comment on the not guilty plea.

North’s attorney said it would take about a year for the case to get to trial.

Responding to the show of solidarity for North, activists showed up in support of Soulemane’s family, chanting “Fire Brian North.”

North is on paid leave and free on bail, according to The Associated Press.