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Hamden PD recommendation: Officer in New Haven shooting incident should be fired

HAMDEN — Hamden Police are recommending officer Devin Eaton be fired. The recommendation for termination is coming just over seven months from the April 1...

HAMDEN -- Hamden Police are recommending officer Devin Eaton be fired.

The recommendation for termination is coming just over seven months from the April 16th officer involved shooting.

“Our interest lies and seeing justice for Stephanie Washington and Paul Witherspoon,” said Kerry Ellington of People Against Police Brutality.

Justice Ellington feels is long overdue.

“Justice means in this case that these officers are never allowed to police again,” said Ellington.

Acting Hamden Police Chief John Cappeillo submitted his recommendation for termination to the Hamden Police Commision following an internal investigation by the Ethics and Integrity Unit.

The result of the investigation found Eaton at fault for three instances of conduct unbecoming, five instances of neglect of duty and unnecessary and flagrant use of a firearm.

”Now our Board of Police Commissioners will take this very serious matter and handle it in a very professional and timely manner,” said Hamden Mayor Curt Leng.

Eaton has been charged by the New Haven State’s Attorney’s office and the Connecticut State Police with first degree assault and two counts of reckless endangerment for his involvement in the April officer involved shooting in Hamden.

Witherspoon and Washington were misidentified for an armed robbery at a gas station. Eaton fired 13 shots at the unarmed individuals inuring Washington and Yale officer Terrance Pollock who was also reporting to the scene.

“An officer hasn’t been arrested in Connecticut in 14 years so it’s obvious to me that it was taken seriously from day one and right through now,” said Mayor Leng.

Eaton’s lawyer, E. Gregory Cerritelli called the recommendation cowardly in a statement. He also said “Police today experience a complete lack of support by their administration and the very community they serve. Therefore, I have little confidence in the legitimacy of these proceedings.

The recommendation not the end for residents who want to see the process through.

“We will continue to demonstrate and to call for the officer to be discharged until it happens,” said Ellington

The Police Commission will set a schedule of meetings with Eaton to come to a final decision. Those dates have not been set yet.

Eaton has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.