Update on State’s Attorney’s investigation

To: Members of the Yale Community

I write to update you on the April 16 police shooting of Stephanie Washington, who, along with Paul Witherspoon, was in a car stopped by officers of the Hamden and Yale Police Departments when the shooting occurred.

At a news conference today, the State of Connecticut released all of the existent police video and audio recordings related to the incident, in which both the Hamden police officer and Yale police officer fired shots. James Rovella, the Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, shared footage from the body camera of the Hamden officer and said there was no video of the shooting from the Yale officer’s camera, which was not activated during that time.

Commissioner Rovella estimated that the ongoing criminal investigation of the incident would require two to three months to complete.

Yale is beginning its own review of the incident, and is engaging an outside expert to assist in that process. Yale police officer Terrance Pollock will remain on leave throughout the state’s investigation. Yale’s review and conclusions will ultimately require the results of the state’s criminal investigation, and we ask for the community’s patience as that process unfolds. Until the investigation is complete and all the facts are known, let us commit to refrain from drawing final conclusions about this incident.

The shooting was a tragedy, and Yale offers its heartfelt feelings of concern to Ms. Washington, Mr. Witherspoon, and their families. We all want a just outcome. A thorough criminal investigation by the State of Connecticut, and comprehensive reviews by Hamden and Yale, are the best ways to bring that about.

The results of the investigation and the reviews will enable us to determine necessary steps to help prevent such incidents in the future.

A summary of key facts and FAQs about the shooting, and a link to President Salovey’s statement on it, can be found here.


Janet Lindner
Vice President for Administration
Yale University

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