NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King fought for justice and that’s what some people called for Monday morning in New Haven at a ceremony in his honor.
They are looking for justice in the case of a young man shot and killed by state police in West Haven last Wednesday. A state trooper fired seven shots into a car killing 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane.
That’s how it ended, but it began with Soulemane stealing a car at knifepoint in Norwalk, then leading police on a chase for almost 30 miles up Interstate 95.
When Souleman finally was brought to a stop, troopers first tried a Taser on him. It did not work. That’s when they used deadly force. His family is saying that was not necessary.
“My son is not a criminal,” the man’s mother said Monday at a Martin Luther King day event at New Haven‘s First Calvary Baptist Church.
After seeing the footage, retired Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara said, “The decision was made to use force, we’ll find out why that decision was made but to determine why seven shots versus five shots and why not more shots, why less shots, why one officer shot instead of the other officers, it’s really hard to make that determination.”
Why were any shots fired when he was surrounded by troopers? That’s one question Soulemane’s family is asking.
Reverend Doctor Franklin Richardson is also fighting for Soulemane. He is the National Chairman of the National Action Network, the group set up by Reverend Al Sharpton in the 1990s to fight against police brutality in New York cases such as Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo.
Reverend Boise Kimber is calling for a federal investigation.
“I believe justice will not be done if the state deals with this case,” he said.
“I’ve reached out to our corporation counsel to get more information so I can understand what the right course is,” said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker. “I want to educate myself on what the next options are that the state should be taking.”