Connecticut trooper charged in teen’s shooting death makes first court appearance

A white Connecticut state trooper charged in the deadly 2020 shooting of a 19-year-old Black man made his first appearance in court Tuesday facing a manslaughter charge.
Trooper Brian North said nothing at his brief arraignment at Milford Superior Court. Outside the courthouse, family members, their lawyers and Black Lives Matters groups rallied in support of Mubarak Soulemane, the slain teen.
"I hope justice will be served to convict Brian North to go to jail. To convict Brian North for being accountable for killing my son," said Omo Mohammed, Soulemane's mother.
Soulemane's family says Mubarak suffered from a mental illness.
"I believe once pictures of the truth – video of what happened is shown to a jury, they will come to the same conclusion I have that this was an execution," said Sanford Rubenstein, the family's attorney.
North fired seven shots into the driver's side window of the stolen car driven by Soulemane after a high-speed chase up I-95 from Norwalk to West Haven. Soulemane was killed.
An investigation showed Soulemane had a knife but was boxed in by police.
Investigators say North instructed another trooper to switch from his gun to a Taser in an effort to use less lethal force to make an arrest. But they say due to Soulemane’s sudden movements, North was forced to fire his gun to defend other officers.
"When our troopers are prosecuted for what we believe to be doing their job, we will defend them, we will defend their actions when we believe they are justified in performing their duties to protect the public,” said Andy Matthews, Executive Director of the Connecticut State Police Union.
North was arrested two weeks ago and has been placed on leave. He's the first Connecticut state trooper to be charged with a deadly shooting in over a decade. 
Last month, Inspector General Robert Devlin says when North fired his gun, neither he nor any other person was in imminent danger of serious injury or death from a knife attack at the hands of Soulemane.
North and his attorney did not comment Tuesday. He is free on bail and due back in court next month.
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