Yale Officer Involved in April Shooting Suspended, Reassigned

Hamden Police Department

A Yale police officer involved in an April shooting in New Haven that injured a young woman has been suspended and reassigned following an independent administrative review, the university confirmed Friday.

Police said Hamden officer Devin Eaton and Yale police officer Terrance Pollock shot at a car in New Haven on April 16 after Eaton stopped it while investigating a reported robbery.

Officials said Eaton fired 13 times after the driver, Paul Witherspoon III, got out of the car unexpectedly. Witherspoon wasn't injured. His girlfriend, 22-year-old Stephanie Washington, was seriously injured but survived.  Pollock was also shot and suffered minor injuries.

The shooting set off months of protest as community activists demanded transparency and accountability for what happened.

The State’s Attorney’s Office concluded that Pollock’s use of his gun was reasonable and justified. Following an administrative review by a former chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, Yale has suspended Pollock for 30 days. University officials said the decision was based on a number of factors, including his Pollock’s behavior before, during, and after the shooting, Yale’s policies and procedures, the State’s Attorney’s findings, and Officer Pollock’s 17 years of service in the Yale police department.

Prior to the suspension, Pollock was on leave, as per protocol. When he returns, he will be in an administrative role that does not require a uniform or a gun.

Eaton is facing criminal charges in connection with the case and Hamden’s acting police chief has recommended his termination.  He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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