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Sound Bites: CT trooper found not guilty of manslaughter in 2020 shooting

Connecticut State Trooper Brian North, center, flanked by Andrew Matthews, president of the Connecticut State Police Union, left, and attorney Jeffrey Ment, appears in Milford Superior Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Milford, Conn., on manslaughter charges in the death of Mubarak Soulemane.
Sean Fowler/AP
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Pool Hartford Courant
Connecticut State Trooper Brian North, center, flanked by Andrew Matthews, president of the Connecticut State Police Union, left, and attorney Jeffrey Ment, appears in Milford Superior Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Milford, Conn., on manslaughter charges in the death of Mubarak Soulemane.

Good morning — A Connecticut state trooper on trial for the shooting and killing of a 19-year-old suspect was found not guilty of manslaughter on Friday.

Officer Brian North, 33, was charged with first-degree manslaughter with a firearm after shooting Mubarak Soulemane seven times in 2020. State Inspector General Robert Devlin filed the charges after he ruled the shooting was not justified. 

His defense attorney, Frank Riccio, said in his closing arguments that North did what a reasonable person would do. North’s lawyers argued Soulemane had a history of mental illness, which led to the shooting. He was also found in the car with a knife. 

“What he did that day both subjectively in his own mind and objectively, what would a reasonable person do through the testimony of the experts and lay witnesses both say that it was reasonable,” Riccio said. 

Here’s a bite-sized look at what else we’re hearing: 

High school teachers voted against Stamford Superintendent Tamu Lucero's proposed new school year schedule. The vote was held secretly to protect staff identities and avoid retribution. Lucero wants to switch to a seven-period schedule, requiring 20 more minutes of daily instruction. The district is now focusing on raising support for the 2024-25 operating budget.

The Church of Scientology buys Long Island office property. The property, built in 1999 to house ADI Global, a security product distributor in Melville, cost $15 million. The sale is Scientology's second major Long Island office property sale in the last 14 months. The church is expected to apply for exemptions from the $285,000 property taxes.

Lawsuit seeks to preserve the buildings of the former Seaside Sanatorium in Waterford. Developer Mark Steiner argues that for more than two decades, Connecticut has failed to maintain the grounds, causing the buildings to fall into disrepair. Steiner wants the state to take “reasonable measures” to preserve the historic buildings at Seaside State Park.

Closure of three Bridgeport schools delayed. Superintendent Carmela Levy-David has delayed her initial proposal to close three schools by summer following objections from students, parents and teachers. Levy-David has recommended the school board permanently close Bridgeport Learning Center, Edison School and Hall School. About 50 special education students attend Bridgeport Learning Center. Staff said they’re concerned about how the school’s closure would affect the students. Instead, she hopes to provide a timeline for her plan in May.

Inflation has hurt the finances of most Long Islanders, according to the latest poll by the Siena College Research Institute. More than half of 100 respondents say they had significant trouble affording groceries, transportation and housing, which were the most expensive items over the last two years. The consumer price index for Long Island is around 3% higher than the Federal Reserve's target.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy partners with New London Public Schools to enhance academic and educational opportunities for students. According to the signed memorandum, the partnership will involve Coast Guard personnel in classrooms, gyms, laboratories and sports fields, providing mentoring, tutoring, support for the New London High School Robotics Team and participation in special events.

Red dye will be used to track Patchogue's wastewater. The goal is to protect consumers who get shellfish from Long Island's south shore. The dye treatment will help the Food and Drug Administration better understand the effluent discharge into the Patchogue River and Patchogue Bay. The study will respond to potential spills or untreated discharges at the wastewater treatment plant.

Some oysters harvested from Westport may be contaminated with norovirus. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a recall of the shellfish from restaurants and retailers in Connecticut and a dozen other states. In Connecticut, the state Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture, is conducting the recall.

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Andrea Quiles is a fellow at WSHU.