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New Haven Police Shoot Unarmed Couple Sitting in Car, Protests Ensue

Protesters took to the streets in Connecticut at the end of last week, asking for the immediate dismissal of 2 police officers who shot at an unarmed couple sitting in a car in New Haven.
Police open fire on unarmed couple in Honda, in New Haven, Connecticut 38 photos
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The incident occurred earlier last week, reigniting the debate on police brutality and officers’ gun-ready attitude. Victims are 22-year-old Stephanie Washington and boyfriend Paul Witherspoon, who, at the time, were sitting in a red Honda. They were unarmed and posed no danger to the public, but 2 officers from separate departments unloaded their guns at the car without as much as a warning.

Footage from nearby surveillance cameras is included in the ABC7NY report at the bottom of the page. The officers have been identified as Devin Eaton from the Hamden Police Department, and Terrance Pollock of the Yale University Police Department.

The first to arrive on the scene was Eaton, who jumped out of his patrol car and rushed to the side of the Honda, unloading his gun at its occupants. Pollock also drove to the scene and jumped from his vehicle without even putting it in park. He shot at the Honda while retreating backwards.

According to the official line, the officers were investigating an armed robbery case and thought that the Honda fit the description of the vehicle used to carry it out. They say they saw Witherspoon make an abrupt movement, which is when they drew out their guns and started shooting.

Washington was hospitalized for her injuries, but Witherspoon wasn’t hurt.

“This incident betrays police activity gone horribly wrong along the Hamden-New Haven line and now Stephanie, as well as many residents, her family, her friends, must live with the consequences and resulting uncertainty of what was by every definition an unacceptable response,”
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said of the incident.

Activists are in agreement with him, asking for the immediate dismissal of the 2 officers, as well as the release of bodycam footage. That will happen this week, officials from the PD tell the media, but not before an internal review.



 
 
 
 
 

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