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Body camera video shows State Police shoot, kill 19-year-old in West Haven

Viewer discretion is advised.  WEST HAVEN — Police have released body camera footage of the chase, crash and shooting that killed a 19-year-old man on Jan...
West Haven

Viewer discretion is advised. 


WEST HAVEN -- Police have released body camera footage of the chase, crash and shooting that killed a 19-year-old man on
January 15
.

The suspect killed was identified as Mubarak Soulemane of New Haven.

Norwalk Police said they were called to the AT&T store on Main Avenue around 4:30 p.m. The employees reported to police there was a person inside the store who engaged in an argument and had a knife at his side. When asked to leave, he attempted to steal a mobile phone, but a clerk grabbed it back from him.

Soulemane then allegedly called for a rideshare service. He got into an argument with the driver, and slapped him. When the driver pulled over and got out, Soulemane stole the car.  Norwalk Police began a pursuit, but called it off.

State Police then pursued Soulemane into West Haven from Norwalk, on I-95 north where he reportedly struck multiple cars and police cruisers. He then drove onto the Exit 43 ramp, ending up under the bridge on Campbell Avenue.

The video shows State Police troopers approach the vehicle. A trooper is seen smashing a window. Troopers are heard shouting and then Trooper Brian North fires seven shots at Soulemane.

"An altercation occurred at that time. Some shots were fired and the suspect was struck by some gunfire," said State Police Colonel Stavros Mellekas Wednesday night.

The Connecticut State Police Troopers involved in this incident were:

  • Trooper Brian North, who has been with the State Police for 4 ½ years
  • Trooper Joshua Jackson, who has been with the State Police for 4 ½ years
  • Trooper First Class Ross Dalling, who has been with the State Police for 7 ½ years

On Friday afternoon, local clergy Soulemane's family gathered for a news conference.

“He was in the car,” said Tahir Mohammad, Soulemane's uncle. "He was shot sitting down in the car. That doesn’t make sense to us.”
Mubarak Soulemane suffered from mental health issues, including schizophrenia, according to his brother.

The NAACP and the ACLU released statements on the shooting on January 17.

“Police cannot police themselves. Yet state police have been assigned to investigate themselves for chasing, shooting, and killing Mubarak Soulemane. It is critically important for the investigation into Soulemane’s death at the hands of Connecticut State Police to be conducted by an independent law enforcement agency, not the same agency whose employees chased and killed him. The Division of Criminal Justice has the power to assign a different police agency to investigate Soulemane’s death, and they should. A local police department typically does not conduct the investigation when one of its employees hurts or kills someone, and the Connecticut State Police should not do so, either,” said Melvin Medina, public policy and advocacy director of the ACLU of Connecticut.

“Police violence against Black and Latinx people is a pandemic in Connecticut, and it must end. Whether a car chase, tasing, beating, or gunshot, every time police harm or kill someone in our state, they harm families and communities. We call on the state to assign a different police agency to investigate this case, because the state police cannot and should not be left to investigate themselves,” said Scot X. Esdaile, president of the NAACP of Connecticut.

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