The Hamden community sounded off to town officials Monday, a week after one of their officers was involved in a shooting in New Haven that injured a 22-year-old woman.
Monday’s meeting was previously scheduled to be about police funding, but every member of the public who spoke wanted to talk about the police shooting that happened last week. They said they want answers from the police department about what happened, and then change.
“We understand you specifically would like to hear from Hamden residents, but today you’re going to hear from residents who your police police,” one speaker said.
Residents from Hamden, New Haven and other cities and towns made their voices heard to the Hamden Legislative Council amid questions surrounding last week’s officer-involved shooting in New Haven.
“There should be no reason why an officer who shoots an unarmed black woman is still working,” one person said.
At the start of the meeting, the council told attendees their members were present to listen to concerns, and there would be no time limits placed on public comment.
Residents upset about the actions of Hamden Police Officer Devin Eaton and Yale Officer Terrance Pollack firing into the car carrying Stephanie Washington and Paul Witherspoon called for change in policy.
Demands from those who spoke included releasing of the police body camera footage from the shooting, funding for an outside arbiter to investigate the incident, and a new independent citizen police. And for many at the meeting, the firing of both officers involved in the shooting would be a final step toward justice.
Witherspoon’s uncle was among those demanding action from the town council. He had a reminder for attendees about how his nephew is doing after the incident.
“My nephew did not get shot, but he is traumatized, and that’s going to affect him for the rest of his life. Until you sit in a car with gunshots flying all around you, you do not know what that feels like,” Rodney Williams told the crowd.