Hamden PD to launch internal investigation into New Haven officer-involved shooting


Hamden police announced Friday evening they will be launching their own internal investigation into the officer-involved shooting of two unarmed people in New Haven.

The chief said the investigation will be lead by the department’s Ethics and Integrity Unit along with outside professionals. 

Meanwhile, another protest was planned for Friday afternoon in New Haven, with protesters calling for the Hamden and Yale University officers that were involved to lose their jobs.

Friday’s protest started at 4:00 p.m. at Yale’s Cross Campus, and protesters then marched to the police department at Yale.

Related: Warrant: Man was putting hands up before police shooting, protesters gathered in New Haven

These ongoing protests are stemming from a shooting that took place last week. Both officers fired on a black couple in a car, injuring one of them. 

Those who are marching and taking to the streets are still demanding answers and action. About 100 Yale students rallied on the campus, handing out civilian complaint forms. The forms are used to report suspected police abuse, and the protesters collected more than 1,000 of them. They say both the Yale and Hamden officers need to be held accountable for the force they used against Paul Witherspoon and Stephanie Washington

Isaac Yearwood, a Yale Freshmen, said they’re going to hand them into the police department. “We are really just having a demonstration here to gather everybody, and then we will be moving to the police department to deliver these complaints in a show of solidarity between the Yale community and the New Haven community.”

After the rally, protesters walked to the Elm City Vineyard Church to hold a conversation about violence.

In a statement, Pastor Steele from Varick Memorial AME Zion Church said in part, “We are committed to building bridges between police and communities…We understand that Policing in America is facing a crisis of legitimacy and purpose. Although what the future holds is uncertain, it’s ripe not only with peril, but with potential.”

On Thursday, people marched from Yale’s campus to the home of University President Peter Salovey for the termination of Yale officer Terrance Pollock and Hamden officer Devin Eaton.

Both officers suspected Witherspoon being involved in an armed robbery in Hamden. The vehicle he and his girlfriend were in matched the description. 

Web Extra: Protesters gather at the Yale police station

Related: Owner of video showing controversial police shooting speaks only to News 8

Police claimed shots were fired after Witherspoon got out of the car abruptly. Video later showed him getting out with his hands up. 

Washington was shot, but survived.

As these protests are going on, an investigation into what happened is underway. State Police are now looking over all the evidence. 

Yale’s President says the university will cooperate fully with the investigation being conducted by State Police and that they would also conduct their own investigation. 

Related: Protesters shut down streets in New Haven

The State Police Commissioner said the investigation could take 2 to 3 months.

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