By Dave Collins, Linked Press
A Connecticut police officer who opened fire on an unarmed couple’s automobile and wounded a 22-year-old lady was charged Monday with felony assault and reckless endangerment.
State’s Lawyer Patrick Griffin determined the April 16 use of force in New Haven was not justified and filed charges against Hamden officer Devin Eaton, officials announced.
The shooting sparked numerous protests in New Haven and neighboring Hamden and prompted calls from region clergy and activists for each officers to be fired.
Police initially mentioned Eaton and Yale University officer Terrance Pollack opened fire on the automobile when the driver, Paul Witherspoon III, got out abruptly. Witherspoon’s girlfriend, Stephanie Washington, was wounded but recovered. The shooting was recorded by Eaton’s physique camera and surveillance cameras.
Messages in search of comment have been left for Eaton and his lawyer Monday. Griffin determined that Pollack’s use of force was justified.
Officials say Eaton posted $100,000 bail and was ordered to seem in court Oct. 28 to face 1 count of very first-degree assault and two counts of very first-degree reckless endangerment.
Authorities mentioned Eaton and Pollack stopped the automobile whilst investigating a reported attempted armed robbery in Hamden. The automobile matched the description of the 1 involved in the attempted robbery.
Eaton told investigators he believed Witherspoon had a gun. He did not.
“Under situations evincing an intense indifference to human life, he recklessly engaged in conduct which designed a danger of death, and thereby triggered significant physical injury to Washington,” Griffin mentioned in his report. “Additionally, the reckless manner in which the shots have been discharged placed these in the quick vicinity, like Paul Witherspoon and Officer Pollock, at danger for significant physical injury.”
Pollock fired 3 shots, but Griffin mentioned that use of force was justified since he believed Eaton and Witherspoon have been exchanging gunfire. Pollock was wounded by a shot fired by Eaton but recovered.