Yale receives review of Yale police officer’s conduct; decides on sanctions

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Following an administrative review of Yale police officer Terrance Pollock’s conduct in an April 2019 shooting in New Haven, the university has suspended him for 30 days without pay and reassigned him. When he returns to work, he will serve in an administrative capacity. The assignment will not require a uniform or a gun.

The administrative review was conducted for Yale independently by Chase Rogers, former Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. 

Yale’s administrative review followed the criminal review conducted by the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of New Haven. According to the State’s Attorney’s findings, New Haven resident Stephanie Washington was shot by the Hamden police officer. Officer Pollock was also shot by the Hamden police officer during the incident and sustained minor injuries.

Following its investigation, the State’s Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against the Hamden police officer for his actions in the shooting. The State’s Attorney did not file criminal charges against Officer Pollock, concluding that “the actions of Officer Terrance Pollock in discharging his weapon were objectively reasonable and, therefore, justified.”

Since the April shooting, the university has shared key facts and FAQs about the circumstances of the shooting, and it fully cooperated with the investigation by the State’s Attorney. After the incident, Officer Pollock, per standard protocol, was placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The university’s administrative review and determination of sanctions took many factors into account, including Officer Pollock’s behavior before, during, and after the shooting, Yale’s policies and procedures, the State’s Attorney’s findings, and Officer Pollock’s 17 years of service in the Yale police department.

The university is grateful to Chief Justice Rogers for taking on this complex and sensitive case,” said Yale Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Janet Lindner. “I believe that we have reached a fair decision—one that addresses concerns about safety while allowing us to continue to benefit from the valuable contributions of a long-serving police officer who has much to offer in a new role. And more broadly, Chief Higgins and I are working closely with our Yale police officers to ensure that we emerge as a more effective police department as a result of this self-study.”

The university is working with 21CP Solutions — experts in police practices and community policing — in conducting an extensive review to improve police services through better policies, procedures, and training, and also, importantly, to make recommendations on how Yale can strengthen trust and partnerships both on and off campus. The review will give special attention to how the Yale Police Department can best ensure the safety of and respect for all members of the Yale and Greater New Haven community. This review has included outreach to students, staff, faculty, police, and community members.