Connecticut State Trooper Is Acquitted in Killing of a Black Teenager

A former Connecticut state trooper was acquitted on Friday of manslaughter and other charges in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Black man after a car chase four years ago.

The trooper, Brian D. North, was criminally charged in 2022 in the killing of the teenager, Mubarak Soulemane, on Jan. 15, 2020. The killing occurred after Mr. Soulemane, who had schizophrenia, led state troopers on a chase that ended in West Haven, Conn., where Mr. North, who is white, fired seven shots through the driver’s side window.

The six-person jury hearing the case in Milford found Mr. North not guilty on all charges, including manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Mr. North’s lawyers clapped him on the back as the jury foreman announced the verdict.

“This was a difficult case,” Judge H. Gordon Hall of State Superior Court told the jury. “The work that you did was hard, and like I told you in the first place, you won’t ever forget it.”

Mr. North was the first Connecticut law enforcement officer to be charged in a fatal shooting in almost 20 years, The Connecticut Post reported.

The defense centered on a finding that Mr. Soulemane was holding a knife inside the car when Mr. North shot him, according an investigation by the state’s Office of Inspector General, which led to the charges.

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