AP NEWS

Officials to release details about police-involved shooting

April 20, 2019

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials expect to release details to the public next week about the investigation into a shooting that involved police, wounded a woman and led to protests.

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella said Friday night he’s asking for “a little patience,” but plans to release police body camera video and other information.

“The integrity of the investigation, fair treatment for the individuals in the vehicle, officers involved and transparency is paramount in these types of investigations,” Rovella said in a statement.

A Hamden officer and a Yale University officer opened fire on a car in New Haven early Tuesday. Police said a 22-year-old woman in the car, Stephanie Washington, was treated for injuries not considered life threatening.

Protests were held this week in New Haven and Hamden. No violence or arrests were reported. Demonstrators included Black Lives Matter activists and Yale University students upset at the actions of the officers. Both officers are black, as are Washington and the car’s driver.

State police are investigating. Authorities said Hamden officer Devin Eaton stopped a car while investigating an attempted armed robbery reported in Hamden and that Yale officer Terrance Pollack responded to a call to assist Eaton. They opened fire when the driver, 21-year-old Paul Witherspoon III, got out of the car abruptly, authorities said.

Police said no weapons were found in the vehicle.

Local clerics met with Hamden Mayor Curt Leng and police officials Friday to try to ease concerns about the shooting. Leng said in a statement Saturday that it was a productive meeting and they’re taking steps to improve the police department and strengthen the town, while also committing to continuing the dialogue.

“I am so deeply sorry to the individuals who were involved that this ever occurred, and also very thankful that the healing has begun,” he said. “We will do better. We must do better.”

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