Police Cameras Did Not Record All of Police-Involved Shooting in New Haven - NBC Connecticut

Police Cameras Did Not Record All of Police-Involved Shooting in New Haven

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    Body Cameras Did Not Record All of Police Shooting in New Haven

    State police on Tuesday released body cam video that showed the officer-involved shooting that injured a woman in New Haven.

    (Published Tuesday, April 23, 2019)

    Following nearly a week of protests that called for officials to release body camera footage after Hamden and Yale police officers opened fire on a car in New Haven last week and injured a 22-year-old woman, state police released footage, but limited video was available from the Hamden officer and no video was available from the Yale officer. 

    While the Yale cruiser had a camera, it was not on and the officer did not turn on his body camera, state police said during a new conference.  

    Limited video was released from the Hamden officer's camera because he turned it on after the shooting started, according to police.

    Police Body Cameras Did Not Record All of Police-Involved Shooting in New HavenPolice Body Cameras Did Not Record All of Police-Involved Shooting in New Haven

     Connecticut State Police have released body camera footage from an officer-involved shooting in New Haven last week.

    (Published Tuesday, April 23, 2019)

    “This is unheard of that we are putting it out so quickly what’s important is transparency and trust," said Commissioner James C. Rovella/Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection.

    State police have said no weapon was found in the car and more information could be released Wednesday on the search of the vehicle. 

    Hamden Police Officer Devin Eaton and Yale Officer Terrance Pollack opened fire on a car at the intersection of Dixwell Avenue and Argyle Street early on the morning of Tuesday, April 16 and the passenger, 22-year-old Stephanie Washington, was injured, according to police. Both officers have been placed on leave. No New Haven police were involved in the shooting.

    The shooting led to several protests from people calling for city leaders to release body camera footage from the incident and to fire the officers involved.

    State police said Hamden police had received a 911 call about an attempted armed robbery of a newspaper deliveryman around 4 a.m. that morning at a Hamden gas station on Arch Street near the New Haven line, about a mile away from the shooting scene.

    During the news conference Tuesday, police played the first 911 call that dispatch received. Parts were difficult to understand, but the caller told police that someone pulled a gun, then fled.

    According to state police, "the suspected party exited the vehicle in an abrupt manner and turned toward officers" and both officers opened fire.

    Surveillance video that apparently captured the incident does not show those movements. Witnesses said they saw police ordering both the man and woman to get out after they stopped shooting. State police said no weapon was found in the car.

    The driver of the vehicle has been identified as 21-year-old Paul Witherspoon and he was not shot.

    Witherspoon's uncle, Rodney Williams, said his nephew got into an argument but he was not carrying a gun, nor was he committing a crime. He thanked State Police for the release of the body camera footage, the 911 call and transcript of the reported armed robbery, and the timeline of events.

    “The rate and the speed that this is moving at nothing ever moved this fast before so if its moving like this continue to let them doing what they’re doing," Williams said.

    Commissioner Rovella did not say which officer shot Washington. Her family is asking for privacy as she continues her recovery. 

    The investigation is ongoing. New Haven State's Attorney Pat Griffin will decide whether the Hamden and Yale officers will face criminal charges.

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