Update On Yale Police Shooting That Triggered A Week Of Protests In New Haven

Written by Ann Brown
Photograph by Johnny Silvercloud via Flickr

Last month, police in New Haven, Conn. shot at a Black couple near Yale University, and the incident prompted a week of protests.

After the public outrage the police released body cam video footage which showed one officer drawing his gun and approaching a red Honda Civic near Yale. In the video, a Black man with dreadlocks stepped out of the car and raised his hands into the air.

“Almost instantly, the police officer appears to start shooting. He moves to the side of the car and continues to fire his weapon, shattering the passenger-side window. As he retreats, the sound on his body-cam kicks in,” The New York Times reported.

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“Twenty shots fired. Argyle street. With the car, with the car,” Officer Devin Eaton of the Hamden Police Department is heard shouting. The footage also showed an officer from Yale University approaching from a different angle. And he too is seen firing his weapon several times.

“The driver of the Honda Civic, Paul Witherspoon III, 21, was not injured. The passenger, Stephanie Washington, 22, was shot but not critically injured, the authorities said,” the NY Times reported. Neither was armed. Washington was transported to Yale New Haven Hospital in stable condition.

Both officers are Black and have been placed on leave while the shooting is investigated by the State Police and the state’s attorney’s office.

“Connecticut State Police said the incident began in Hamden, Connecticut, just after 4 a.m. on April 16 when police received a report of an attempted armed robbery of a newspaper delivery man at a gas station,” CNN reported.

Protests broke out after the shooting. New Haven residents marched and called for police accountability.

“Everyone is not a suspect. And that’s how people feel,” one resident, Kevin Walter, told CNN affiliate WTNH. “We just want the police, we want the chiefs, we want the elected officials to understand that and hear what the community is saying. We just want accountability.”