Body Cam Footage Shows Moment Police Opened Fire On Unarmed Black Connecticut Couple

One of the officers involved in the shooting did not turn on his camera.

Newly released body camera footage shows the moment two Connecticut officers opened fire on an unarmed Black couple sitting inside of a car.

On April 23, Connecticut State Police released partial body camera footage from the New Haven shooting.

Police Commissioner James Rovella revealed Hamden police officer Devin Eaton should have turned on his body camera sooner. Terrance Pollock, the Yale Police officer also involved in the shooting, did not turn on his camera at all, Rovella said, as reported by NBC News.

Rovella also confirmed during a news conference that investigators "did not find a gun" on the driver, Paul Witherspoon III. While Witherspoon was not injured in the shooting, his girlfriend, Stephanie Washington, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The commissioner said that Eaton fired 13 shots and the Yale officer shot three times. Additionally, Rovella suggested Pollock was hit by one of Eaton’s “projectiles.”

Although Eaton's body camera was not activated until after the shooting began, a recall function on the device allowed officers to see seconds before he clicked on the camera.

“You will hear very little audio on the body camera. Again, the [Hamden] officer did not engage his body camera before the incident. He has no cruiser camera. The body camera information that we were able to recall is just seconds before the incident — and it’s recall, so there’s no audio on it,” Rovella told the media at the press conference.

Rovella said the lack of sufficient video and audio was "inconsistent" with state policies and procedures.

According to the state's Police Officer Standards and Training Council guidelines, officers should turn on their cameras "at the inception of the interaction with the public.”

The release of the video comes after days of protests in Hamden and New Haven.

"This is unheard of that we're putting it out so quickly," Rovella said during the press conference. "What's important is transparency and trust."

According to a Yale news release, Pollock, who was patrolling the campus, joined the Hamden officer "based on a 911 call reporting that a person driving the vehicle had a gun.”

In a 911 call, someone at a gas station said a "regular customer driving a red car ... pulled a gun at the guy who delivered the paper" and that it was "clear he was asking for money outside,” reported NBC.

However, Witherspoon’s uncle told NBC News the report of a gun was false and that his nephew was involved in a minor dispute with a paper delivery man.

The Connecticut State's Attorney's Office is investigating the shooting along with state police.

Both officers have been placed on leave while the investigation continues.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.