The investigation into the death of a 19-year-old who was fatally shot by a police officer in West Haven in January is still ongoing. Mark Arons, the lawyer for the Mubarak Soulemane family, says that any reform of police accountability in the state must address the death of the teenager.
Arons said he heard Governor Ned Lamont and members of the state parliament speak against racism after George Floyd's death by the police, but didn't hear the same cries for justice for the deadly police shots on the Connecticut teenager.
"Governor Lamont spoke loudly about police reforms after the murder of George Floyd, and it's commendable," said Arons. "But we haven't heard anything about Mubarak Soulemane, although Mubarak was murdered by a police officer last January."
His family continued to speak about death and participated in protests against police violence.
"It's been more than six months since our son and brother were murdered in West Haven on January 15, 2020," the family members said in a statement from Arons. "We are asking the prosecutor to issue a report in which Connecticut State Trooper Brian North and the other police officers who worked with him that night did nothing to de-escalate the situation and prevent the murder that was committed for Mubarak's death is responsible and responsible and bring criminal charges. The time has come. "
The Middlesex prosecutor, Michael Gailor, is leading the investigation together with the criminal justice department. "As we strive to complete the investigation as soon as possible, our main goal is to ensure that the investigation is thorough and complete," Gailor said in an email.
In January, Soulemane, whose family said he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, stole a car from Norwalk while carrying a knife after trying to get a cell phone from an AT&T store, according to police records. The Norwalk police stopped the persecution, but then the state police intervened.
Body cam footage shows policeman Brian North shooting the stopped car several times after another officer broke a window to deceive the teenager. All the other windows remained rolled up and it didn't appear that Soulemane was trying to escape the vehicle.
Arons said in a police report that one of the passengers on the passenger side said "he reached" after Soulemane was insulted.
"It looks like Mubarak moved a little after the taser was deployed, but you know someone who is tased will move a little," said Arons.
According to Arons, Souleman’s brother reported that he was missing from the police more than a day before the incident and subsequent fatal shots, and was concerned to find his brother.
"He wasn't a threat to anyone, so the question was always why he was shot seven times. There's no need to shoot him, ”said Arons. "There was never a reason to shoot him, and the police must be held accountable and prosecuted."
Body camera footage was released within 48 hours, a process that meets the requirements of a police accountability and transparency law of 2019.
Arons had a former Los Angeles police sergeant, Sheryl Dorsey, who checked the footage.
"I believe that the lethal force used by CT State Trooper Brian North was unnecessary, exaggerated, and was a policy violation that allowed lethal force in immediate defense of life (IDOL)," said Dorsey in a statement. "At the time of the shots there was no immediate defense of life (the officer or others) because Mr. Soulemane could not injure any of the officers in close proximity to his vehicle."
In February, Souleman’s family filed a $ 10 million lawsuit against the West Haven Police Department and the State Police.
Soulemane's mother, sister and other family members have continued to protest after the death of their loved ones while awaiting the results of the investigation.