CT State Police releases body camera footage from officer-involved shooting in West Haven

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WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — CT State Police has released the body camera footage from the officer-involved shooting in West Haven on Wednesday.

The video shows what led up to the moment the trooper pulled the trigger, firing several fatal shots.

According to state police, Trooper Brian North shot and killed 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane after he stole a ride-share car at knifepoint outside of an AT&T store in Norwalk.

Mubarak Soulemane (Courtesy: Family)

Lt. Jared Zwickler, with the Norwalk Police Department, told News 8, “A male individual had a knife by his side and was arguing with staff in the store.”

RELATED: State police identify suspect, troopers involved in deadly officer-involved shooting in West Haven

After a brief pursuit on Interstate 95, officers called in surrounding law enforcement to be on the lookout. That’s when troopers came across him and witnessed him collide with multiple trooper and civilian cars along the way.

Troopers then tailed him into West Haven; the chase stopped when Soulemane hit traffic.

In the body camera footage, Trooper North pulls up to the scene and runs up to the driver’s side of the car, which is nearly blocked by a patrol car, with his gun drawn.

Seconds later, another trooper starts hitting the passenger side of the car with a baton to gain entry. Then, North yells, “Jackson [Trooper Joshua Jackson], pull the Taser. Taser.”

Trooper Jackson appears to use the stun gun but it apparently didn’t work.

After a few seconds, the driver’s door appears to open, and North fires roughly seven shots into the window, hitting Soulemane.

“He’s got a knife,” North yells. “Drop the knife. Drop the knife. It’s out of his hands; it’s on his lap.”

North then uses his gun to push the broken glass from the window so he could remove the knife from the car.

North has been placed on administrative duty while the investigation occurs.

Inspectors from the Division of Criminal Justice will handle the investigation. The investigation is being overseen by New London State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan, who initially had asked the Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad to conduct the investigative work.

“The immediate concern has now brought this issue to the forefront and we are now implementing what was in the discussion stages in response to the immediate need to respond to this tragic incident in West Haven,” acting Chief State’s Attorney Russotto said.

On Saturday evening, Connecticut State Police released a statement regarding the ACLU accusing one of the troopers of using a racial slur during the incident. CSP has deemed the ACLU’s accusation false. State police claim the comment in question was immediately recognized as the word “Mirror,” not a racial slur.

News 8 was there when they watched the footage for the first time.

“I am deeply saddened and hurt; I don’t know,” said Saeed Soulemane, the victim’s brother. “I don’t know. I don’t know how to cope right now. I have to get ready to bury my brother tomorrow morning, due to this injustice. I need justice to be served man, we have to do better; we have to do better as a community.”

WATCH: Family reacts to body camera footage from officer-involved shooting

He feels his brother never stood a chance.

“From watching the footage, it looks like a cold-blooded murder. My brother was never given a fair share. It is very sickening; it is very sickening to sit here to even be here speaking about this. It has to come to an end.”

“They order him out of the car, they blocked him in, and blocked the door,” said Reverend Dr. Boise Kimber after watching the video. “I am speechless. I am more hurt for the family and for the community in which we live. ”

Before the video’s release Friday, New Haven clergy and Soulemane’s family held a news conference to talk about his death.

Family expressed that he will never again get to play basketball or attend college — which was something he was looking forward to.

Black leaders are now calling for an independent investigation into the circumstances of his death.

“Mr. Soulemane had a right to his day in court,” a man said during the press conference. “He had a right to answer to whatever happened in Norwalk. A crime was committed in West Haven. Let’s call it as it is.”

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