Nearly three weeks after a teenager was shot and killed by Connecticut State Police in West Haven, the city’s mayor is meeting with the family to discuss what might help the community.
The family of 19-year-old Mubarak Soulemane said they’ve been trying to get a meeting with Mayor Nancy Rossi for weeks. On Tuesday they finally met to discuss Soulemane’s death.
“We talked about urban trauma training. We talked about de-escalation, we talked about cultural diversity.”
Rev. Boise Kimber was with Soulemane’s family with the mayor. Soulemane was shot and killed by Connecticut State Police off Exit 43 in West Haven on January 15.
Kimber said a main topic in the meeting was the lack of body cameras for West Haven police officers.
“The police department of West Haven needs bodycams to show what takes place when a person is stopped in the city,” Kimber said.
West Haven police officers did respond to the scene the night Soulemane was killed, but none of them fired a weapon. Kimber said cameras would have shown the officers’ actions.
Authorities said Connecticut State Police were pursuing Soulemane because he was suspected in a reported carjacking in Norwalk. As they followed the vehicle, police said Soulemane drove recklessly, crashing into other vehicles on I-95 north before exiting in West Haven, where the shooting took place.
NBC Connecticut reached out to Rossi’s office and the West Haven Police Department, who did not respond to our request to discuss Tuesday’s meeting.
The meeting follows weeks of activism by supporters of Soulemane, including marches in New Haven and a memorial service with Rev. Al Sharpton as the speaker.
Soulemane’s family said they’re glad to be there as Kimber draws attention to the changes they want to see following Soulemane’s death.
“I’m very happy that he has highlighted this very important crucial issue,” Soulemane’s great uncle Suhnoon Adams said.
An initial investigation report from the Middlesex’s State’s Attorney’s Office ruled Soulemane’s death a homicide.
Kimber said they have two meetings Thursday – one with West Haven’s Chief of Police and the other with the state’s attorney. He said he hopes to get an update on the investigation then.