Protesters Call for Yale Police to Be Stripped of Their Guns

Dozens of students gathered at the Yale Police Department Friday, calling to disarm the department after a Yale officer was involved in a police shooting that injured a young woman last week.

“Our tuition is paying for this department. It’s paying for the guns, it’s paying for the bullets and I do not want to have my name attached to that kind of violence,” said sophomore Makayla LaRonde-King.

Members of Black Students for Disarmament at Yale led the demonstration, which is the latest protest against the shooting of Stephanie Washington by Yale and Hamden police officers in New Haven 10 days ago.

Police say that on April 16, Hamden Police Officer Devin Eaton and Yale Officer Terrance Pollock opened fire on a car at the intersection of Dixwell Avenue and Argyle Street in New Haven while investigating reports of an attempted armed robbery in Hamden.  No weapon was found in the car.

 The case is under investigation by the Connecticut State Police and the New Haven State’s Attorney. 

Protesters are specifically calling for the firing of  Pollock, who fired his gun in last week’s incident. They also want the restriction of Yale patrol grounds to a more reasonable campus area, and the disarming of all officers at the university.

“You already have New Haven Police Department. Why is it necessary for Yale PD to have weaponry as well?” asked freshman Isaac Yearwood.

Students pledged that despite the end of the school year drawing near, this demonstration would not be the last.

“We will definitely be continuing throughout the next semesters because even though this movement started out as justice for Stephanie and Paul, the history of police violence goes on way beyond that. So even if we don’t get it now, we’re definitely going to continue to push for disarming YPD,” Seyade Tadele, a sophomore, said.

Part of the student demands include that Yale University President Peter Salovey respond saying the police department will disarm by noon on Sunday.

NBC Connecticut reached out to Yale but has not heard back.

 Yale officials have said they are asking for patience and waiting for the state investigation to finish before a decision will be made about the officer's future with the department.

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