FARGO — Offering a message of hope for change and unity, the father of a 14-year-old girl killed this month met with leaders of the Liberian community and Fargo police on Tuesday, June 22.
“I am going to push for some law changes because you kept giving this individual a slap on the wrist,” said Robert Paulsen, father of Daisy "Jupiter" Paulsen, who was repeatedly stabbed June 4 in an apparently random attack and died four days later.
“This town needs to heal. She was my child, but the day she was attacked she became everyone’s child,” Paulsen said. “My question for the justice system above you is how do you let a felon only serve 27 days?”
Arthur Prince Kollie, the 22-year-old man charged with murder in Jupiter's death, is of Liberian descent, and pastors and liaisons from the local Liberian community met with Paulsen on Tuesday to express their anguish over the loss of Jupiter.
Kollie, with no permanent address, has a criminal record that includes previous felonies. He was once sentenced to serve two years in prison, but was released after serving 27 days on the condition that he successfully complete 18 months of probation.
Ebenezer Saye, president of the local Liberian community group, has been searching for Kollie’s family since the tragedy occurred. “I had to ask myself, what if the same thing happened to my daughter? I have this sick feeling,” Saye said.
When asked by community leaders, Paulsen agreed to a candlelight service for his daughter at the scene of the attack. The service is tentatively set for 5 p.m. Friday outside of Party City on 13th Avenue South.
“I would like to light a candle there myself,” the father said.
Paulsen described his daughter as pansexual and a member of the LGBTQ community who planned to walk in the Pride parade this year. “Daisy, I call her Daisy, she was going to walk this year, so now I’ll walk for her,” Paulsen said.
Fargo Police Officer Andrea Noll and Cultural Liaison Officer Vincent Kempf also attended the meeting between Paulsen and local Liberian leaders because Christian Sampson, a liaison between the Liberian community and local law enforcement, invited them.
“We just want to show you that we stand with you and we’re sorry for your loss,” Sampson said. “As a parent myself when I saw the news I thought, I hope the police got him before I did.”
Gabriel Barbly, pastor of Harvest Intercontinental Church, prayed before the meeting began, asking God for peace for the Paulsen family.
Nestor Sandy, another leader in the local Liberian community, said the crime Kollie is accused of is appalling and “nobody thought this could happen.”
“We feel the agony. Open up to us and we will help in any way we can,” Sandy said.
Paulsen said during the meeting that he would stand up for anyone from the Black community if they’re targeted with racist speech or hatred.
“I know there are racist people out there who have a lot of hatred, but we come from some of the same backgrounds,” Paulsen said. "When this event happens, if anything happens, tell me and I’ll stand in the way.”
Saye said he's never met Kollie in person and that Kollie had moved around from Pennsylvania, Bismarck and Fargo.
“People are saying he had a mental problem. Once, a person saw him walking in the snow without clothes and he refused a ride for help,” Saye said.
Kollie has a sister and aunt who either live or used to live in Fargo, but they have not spoken publicly since the killing.
Paulsen said a woman claiming to be Kollie's former girlfriend and the mother of his child contacted him through Facebook. Paulsen said she told him Kollie "was like that before the drugs" and that "he tried to kill her when she was pregnant."
"My only response was please don't raise your child to be like him," Paulsen said.
Jupiter had just graduated from middle school and recently taught herself to play the guitar. She “was the type of person to make flower crowns and give them to strangers just to see a smile,” according to her obituary.
A public service to honor Jupiter and bring awareness to violence is planned for 5 p.m. Sunday at Scheels Arena, according to her obituary. Also, the Liberian community plans to set aside July 10 as a day for fasting and praying for Paulsen and his family.