WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The family of Mubarak Soulemane spoke out for the first time following the arrest of a Connecticut State Police Trooper.
The family says they will continue to call for justice until there’s a conviction in this case.
Trooper Brian North was charged with killing the 19-year-old following a police chase in 2020.
“For me to hear Brian North killing my son is unjustified was a big relief,” said Omo Mohammed, Mubarak’s mother.
North was arrested on Tuesday and charged with manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm. He was released on a $50,000 bond and is due in court next month.
Investigators say the teen stole a Lyft driver’s car at knife point back on January 15, 2020, leading police on a high-speed chase from Norwalk into West Haven.
In a new report released on Wednesday, Inspector General Robert J. Devlin Jr. said that only 36 seconds elapsed between North taking a position next to the driver’s window and firing his gun through the window. According to the report, North broke the window in order to communicate with Soulemane and to “facilitate the use of less-lethal means to gain control of him.”
“Too many police officers have gotten away with murder in the State of Connecticut. It’s time to set an example that this cannot go on any longer,” said Mariyann Soulemane, Mubarak’s sister.
In the report, North said that Soulemane was “moving and holding the knife in an aggressive manner” and it looked like he was going to attack either Trooper Jackson or the West Haven officer on-scene.
“Based on these circumstances, I believed that Tpr. Jackson and the West Haven Officer were at imminent risk of serious physical injury or death, and could have been stabbed in the neck or face as they attempted to enter the vehicle and remove the suspect,” North said in the report. “As a result, I discharged my duty firearm to eliminate the threat.”
Devlin Jr. said that Soulemane could not open the driver’s door enough to exit the car because Jackson’s cruiser had blocked him in, so “even though he held a knife, he posed no imminent threat to North.”
Soulemane’s family is hoping this will be a catalyst for change.
“I appreciate my brother’s legacy will start this movement and change the lives of other families who have to live with these injustices,” Mariyann said.
WATCH: The family of Mubarak Soulemane speaks out on April 21, 2022
On Wednesday, News 8 spoke with the Connecticut State Police Union.
“No trooper or police officer in Connecticut, that we’re aware of, ever intends to come to work and take the life of another human being. That’s traumatic for everyone involved, the Soulemane family, no one intended for that to happen. Our condolences go out to them,” said Andrew Matthews, Executive Director of The Connecticut State Police Union. “I can assure you, Trooper North didn’t intend to try to take someone’s life when he came to work that day.”
They say they’re disappointed with this decision, as they say, North was risking his own life while trying to protect the lives of others.
North is currently on paid administrative leave and all his police powers have been suspended as this process continues.
“The Inspector General found this police officer did not act as a reasonable police officer and did not do what a reasonable police officer would have done under those circumstances. Twenty years, that’s what we want. Maximum,” said Sanford Rubenstein, New York Civil Rights Counsel for the Soulemane family.
News 8 reached out to North’s attorney for a statement after Soulemane’s family spoke out, but he didn’t have a comment.
Stay tuned to News 8 for updates on this story.