Al Sharpton to lead memorial service for teen killed by trooper

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Family and friends of a 19-year-old Connecticut man killed by a state trooper earlier this month are set to gather Sunday for a memorial service featuring the Rev. Al Sharpton.

The ceremony honoring Mubarak Soulemane will begin at 1 p.m. at the First Calvary Baptist Church in New Haven.

Relatives, clergy and civil rights advocates have protested the Jan. 15 shooting in West Haven. They have called on federal authorities to investigate and state police to improve training on how to de-escalate tense situations. It was the third fatal shooting by police in Connecticut since the new year began.

State police said Soulemane tried to steal a cellphone and then carjacked a vehicle in Norwalk before leading troopers on a chase on Interstate 95 into West Haven. Officials said Soulemane struck two state police cruisers and a civilian’s vehicle before troopers stopped his vehicle by boxing it in.

Recordings from state police body cameras show troopers surrounding Soulemane’s vehicle and smashing out the passenger door window before shooting him with a stun gun, which didn’t work. Trooper Brian North then fired his handgun seven times through the driver’s door window when Soulemane displayed a knife, state police said.

“What was the need to shoot and shoot so many times?” Sharpton said. “At best, you need a new level of police training and at worst it needs to be criminally investigated. We’re putting Connecticut on notice that there are national eyes looking at this.”

Inspectors with the chief state’s attorney’s office recently took command of the investigation from state police.

North was placed on administrative duty in accordance with protocols when officers are involved in a shooting.

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