Documents offer new details about police shooting of unarmed Black couple near Yale

A man who was shot at by officers while sitting in a car with a woman in New Haven, Conn., told police upon questioning that he was simply trying to comply with orders


New details are emerging about the police-involved shooting involving an unarmed Black couple near Yale University, NBC Connecticut is reporting.

The news station has obtained court documents that offer details about what happened on April 16 when police shot and injured passenger Stephanie Washington, 22, in a vehicle that Paul Witherspoon, 21, was driving in New Haven, Conn., about a mile from the Yale campus. Police from Hamden, Conn., and Yale University responded to the call of an armed man at a gas station before a municipal officer fired the shot that injured Washington.

READ MORE: Partial body cam footage released from police shooting of unarmed Black couple near Yale

Witherspoon told Hamden, Conn., police that he’d gotten into an altercation with a newspaper delivery man at a gas station on April 16, according to the documents.

The newspaper deliveryman told police he was approached by a male and feared the male was going to rob him.

The clerk called 911 and told a dispatcher that Witherspoon pulled a gun on the newspaper deliveryman, but the clerk later told police that he never saw Witherspoon with a gun.

Shortly after, Witherspoon saw two police cars driving at him. Hamden Police Officer Devin Eaton got out of his cruiser and ordered Witherspoon out of his car, Witherspoon told police.

Witherspoon told police that because his driver-side window does not open, he pushed open the car door with his left arm and reached out the door with both arms extended. Witherspoon told police that he never reached for anything and that when he looked behind him, he saw Eaton pointing a gun his way.

READ MORE: Black Lives Matters protesters demand answers after Black woman shot by Yale police officer

As Witherspoon exited his vehicle, he held his arms up and almost immediately, Eaton began shooting, police body cam video has shown. However, the Yale Daily News reported earlier this week that the body cam footage was incomplete.

Eaton fired his gun 13 times and Yale University Officer Terrance Pollock fired three times, according to reports.

The state has taken over the investigation of the incident.

Local clergy and members of Black Lives Matter met with Yale President Peter Salovey and other local officials to discuss the incident, NBC Connecticut reports.

Both groups and Yale agreed to form a coalition and the Ivy League university has agreed to institute urban trauma, deescalation and implicit bias training, Ala Ochumare of Black Lives Matter told the station.

Local clergy are demanding the termination of Eaton as well as Pollock from the Yale police force, NBC Connecticut reported.

READ MORE: Officers wound Black woman sitting in car near Yale with boyfriend, but accounts conflict