Petition: Yale must disarm police and donate to BLM

Yale student groups and a petition demand the disarming of campus police.

The petition came following the shooting of a woman in a vehicle police said was reportedly implicated in an attempted armed robbery.

A student petition demands that Yale University disarm its police officers and make a donation to Black Lives Matter in response to “state-sanctioned violence”.

petition circulating Yale’s student body and addressed to Yale University President Paul Salovey calls for the immediate disarmament of campus police in the wake of a shooting on Tuesday.

 “Armed campus police are a risk to the students they are sworn to protect and to the communities in which schools reside,” the petition states. “There is an epidemic of police violence and police brutality in this country, and this shooting all too tragically shows that Yale is not immune to this issue. We will not allow the Yale Police Department to contribute to this epidemic by acting violently against members of the community that we have chosen from all over this country and the world.”

The shooting occurred on the morning of Tuesday, April 16, when Hamden, Conn. officer Devin Eaton and Yale officer Terrance Pollock opened fire on Stephanie Washington, a passenger in a vehicle police said was believed to be implicated in an attempted armed robbery of a newspaper delivery employee at a Hamden gas station, according to News 8 and the Hartford Courant. Washington and Pollock were injured in the confrontation, but Pollock is in a stable condition and Washington has been released from hospitalization.

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Yale placed Pollock on leave pending the investigation’s conclusion and the petition also calls or his resignation or termination.

In a joint statement published Wednesday, the Yale Black Men’s Union and Black Women’s Coalition repeated the demand for Pollock’s immediate termination and police disarmament, saying campus police are “neither transparent nor held accountable to the people they serve.”

The Hartford Courant reported that protesters gathered outside of President Salovey’s residence Wednesday and chanted for him to come out of his house. 

“Who do you protect? Who do you serve?” protesters shouted at officers outside the president’s house gate. “Yale police, off our streets.”

More than 100 Black Lives Matter members stormed the New Haven police department headquarters Tuesday, demanding to speak to the chief of police or top officer currently there, according to The New Haven Independent. Hamden deputy police chief Bo Kicak informed the protesters that the Connecticut state police were conducting a “thorough and independent investigation.”

[RELATED: UC Davis rejects calls to fire prof who advocated for cop killing, cites Trump exec order]

“Yale police officers are trained to interact with community members in a respectful and professional manner,” Yale said in a news release. “Many of our officers are from the New Haven community, and all of them take great pride in how they engage with the community, both on and off duty….Yale is fully cooperating in the investigation [conducted by the Connecticut State Police and Attorney’s Office], and we will share publicly whatever information we can as quickly as we can.”

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