New inspector general to handle CT police use-of-force probes

A file photo of a police cruiser's emergency lights.

A file photo of a police cruiser's emergency lights.

Ron Chapple / Getty Image

The Office of the Inspector General is taking on all pending police officer use of force investigations, the state’s Division of Criminal Justice said Wednesday.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Robert Delvin Jr., who was appointed in September as inspector general, will assume the investigations.

“My objective is to conduct thorough, fair and complete investigations in the most timely manner possible, while continuing to keep all parties affected apprised of the progress that is made in these investigations,” Delvin said Wednesday.

There are nine pending use-of-force investigations, the oldest stemming from the death of Mubarak Soulemane in January 2020. Soulemane, 19, was shot and killed by a state trooper in West Haven after police said he stole a car in Norwalk.

Of the nine pending cases, three of the victims have died, according to the Division of Criminal Justice.

Officials said the reassignment will “likely extend the amount of time that is needed to resolve the investigations.”

The reassignment comes after a police reform bill was passed into law in July 2020 that requires a new, independent inspector general to investigate police-related shootings. These shootings don’t necessarily have to end in death to prompt an investigation, and investigations can also start if an officer uses deadly, physical force.

In the previous statute, the Chief State’s Attorney assigned a State’s Attorney from outside the jurisdiction of the incident to conduct the investigation. These investigations often took months, sometimes years, to complete.

liz.hardaway@hearst.com