Maine Police Charge Suspect In Killing Of 22-Year-Old Black Muslim
Photo courtesy of Awo Muse

Police have arrested a suspect in the killing of a young Black Muslim man last month, an incident that many in the Portland idea are calling a hate crime.

Mark Cardilli Jr., who is white, was arrested Friday in the shooting death of 22-year-old Isahak Muse in Portland on March 16.

Police ruled his death a homicide, according to

“We are satisfied to hear that an arrest has been made in the murder of our youngest brother, Isahak Muse, but this is only the first step in ensuring justice for him,” the family said in a statement following the arrest.

The family and local Somali community had been dissatisfied with the investigation thus far. Many wondered why no details about the case had been released when they met with the city’s interim police chief last month.

Later, the police confirmed Muse’s sister’s belief that the shooting resulted from an altercation. Awo Muse told ESSENCE last month that her brother was dating a girl who lived in Cardilli’s home –likely the suspect’s sister —and that there had been an altercation with her family members over it.

“There was an altercation in the home with one of those members of the family. So there’s a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister. He was dating the youngest of the sisters. I think someone from the family came home, and they found Isahak there, and only God knows what kind of altercation happened. When we saw his body he was bruised up. There were bruises on his face, and bruises on his nose because there had been a fight,” she said.

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