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Family of man shot by trooper sues West Haven

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The family of a 19-year-old fatally shot by police in January 2020 following a car chase has sued the city of West Haven, city police officers and state troopers involved in the case.

Attorney Mark Arons filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Superior Court in New Haven, the New Haven Register reported Friday. He said the suit was needed to preserve the two-year statute of limitations for negligence claims against the police.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and costs, and any other relief the court may deem appropriate. The family previously filed a claim in February 2020, indicating it would seek $10 million in wrongful death damages from state and local police.

Brian Foley, spokesperson for the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which includes the Connecticut State Police, said the lawsuit “involves a civil legal process, which we cannot comment on at this point.”

City offices were closed Friday. West Haven’s counsel, Lee Tiernan, previously said the town’s policy is not to comment on pending litigation.

Mubarak Soulemane was fatally shot following the car chase as he sat in the driver’s seat of a car in West Haven. His relatives and civil rights groups have been calling on a state prosecutor to finish the investigation and charge Trooper Brian North, who fired seven gunshots at Soulemane.

The investigation of the rare fatal shooting by a Connecticut state trooper has taken months longer than other probes into fatal shootings by Connecticut officers. Arons has said although relatives are frustrated he would rather see a thorough review than a rushed one.

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