State Trooper Brian North found not guilty in manslaughter trial

North was found not guilty of first-degree manslaughter with a firearm, second-degree manslaughter with a firearm, and criminally negligent homicide.

Marissa Alter and Rose Shannon

Mar 15, 2024, 4:13 PM

Updated 36 days ago

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State Trooper Brian North has been found not guilty in the manslaughter trial over the 2020 death of Mubarak Soulemane.
North was found not guilty of first-degree manslaughter with a firearm, second-degree manslaughter with a firearm, and criminally negligent homicide.
"We are very happy with the verdict and the result still can't say very much because there still is a civil case pending," Frank Riccio, North's attorney. "This is definitely not a time for celebration because a young man lost his life. So we are happy with the result, we await the civil case and how it resolves. Other than that I can't really say anything more but thank you very much."
"This is a terrible day for everybody concerned and extremely difficult for the family to have to hear the verdict - we wish to thank the inspector general and his team and his staff for their tremendous work, hard work, putting on this very difficult case," said Mark Arons, the attorney for Soulemane's family. "We commend the jury for listening to all the evidence, taking it seriously, we disagree obviously with the result but we accept the result, we're fortunate in this country to have a great justice system - the finest jury system in the world - it's a tough nut to swallow because while we do disagree with the result, we accept it. And now the family will move on and decompress."
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In January 2020, North fired seven shots into the driver's side of a stopped stolen car, killing Soulemane, 19.
Soulemane had led police on a high-speed chase on I-95 from Norwalk to West Haven, where he crashed.
Less than an hour into deliberations Friday, jurors asked to rehear North's testimony. The audio recording was played back for jurors in the courtroom.
North took the stand for over four hours last Friday and was the first witness in the defense's case. During his testimony, North said Soulemane first appeared motionless, then pulled out a knife and took a threatening pose toward officers on the other side of the car.
North testified he had to shoot to protect them. However, Inspector General Robert Devlin described North's actions as reckless.
Devlin said there was no imminent threat since officers boxed in Soulemane.
North had faced up to 40 years in prison.


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