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Videos: Hundreds arrested as cops clear university protesters

NYPD. (Bernhard Richter/Dreamstime/TNS)
May 01, 2024

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested by the New York Police Department (NYPD) Tuesday night as police officials cleared protesters from Columbia University and the City College of New York.

According to The Associated Press, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said approximately 300 individuals were arrested Tuesday at Columbia University and the City College of New York. ABC 7 reported that roughly 109 individuals were arrested at Columbia University as hundreds of NYPD officers cleared Hamilton Hall, which had been occupied by pro-Palestinian protesters.

NBC 4 reported that NYPD officers were deployed in riot gear and utilized various tactical strategies to clear both Hamilton Hall and the pro-Palestinian encampment on the college lawn on Tuesday night.

A video posted on X, formerly Twitter, shows NYPD officers using a ladder truck to climb through a window, allowing law enforcement officials to enter the historic academic building. NBC 4 reported that pro-Palestinian protesters had barricaded themselves in Hamilton Hall after smashing through the building’s doors and windows.

According to NBC 4, NYPD officers used distraction devices known as “flash bangs” to clear out the building. Law enforcement officials said no other force or tear gas was used to clear out Hamilton Hall.

“The NYPD’s precision policing ensured that the operation was organized, calm, and that there were no injuries or violent clashes,” Adams said Wednesday, according to NBC 4. “There’s nothing peaceful about barricading buildings, destroying property or destroying security cameras. We cannot allow what should be a lawful protest to turn into a violent spectacle that serves no purpose.”

On Tuesday, Columbia University President Minouche Shafik sent a letter to the NYPD requesting assistance in clearing the pro-Palestinian protester encampments as well as the occupation of Hamilton Hall.

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“The events on campus last night have left us no choice. With the support of the University’s Trustees, I
have determined that the building occupation, the encampments, and related disruptions pose a clear
and present danger to persons, property, and the substantial functioning of the University and require
the use of emergency authority to protect persons and property,” Shafik wrote. “With the utmost regret, we request the NYPD’s help to clear all individuals from Hamilton Hall and all campus encampments.”

According to NBC 4, the protesters who were arrested after breaking into and occupying Hamilton Hall will be charged with criminal mischief, trespassing, and third-degree burglary, while protesters who encamped on the university’s lawn will be charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing.

ABC 7 reported that police indicated that the individuals inside Hamilton Hall were “mostly professionals,” not college students.

A video posted on social media by The Post Millennial shows NYPD officers arresting pro-Palestinian protesters at Columbia University on Tuesday.