NYPD Bodycam Footage Reveals Officers Breaching Columbia University Building Occupied by Anti-Israel Protesters

Newly released body-worn camera footage from New York City police officers has captured the moment when authorities forcibly entered a Columbia University building that had been taken over by anti-Israel demonstrators.

The video documents the scene as NYPD officers, clad in protective gear, breached Hamilton Hall on Tuesday night, where the protesters had barricaded themselves inside. Chants of “We shall not be moved” echoed from the protesters outside as officers approached the building.

According to NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Tarik Sheppard, many of the protesters were not affiliated with the university but were instead described as “outside agitators.” Sheppard emphasized that these individuals are often professionals who may travel from one protest to another, potentially influencing passionate students with their agendas.

In the bodycam footage, officers can be seen using tools to open the front door of Hamilton Hall, which had been obstructed from the inside with stacked chairs. Upon gaining entry, they encountered a barricade constructed from furniture, necessitating the use of a saw to clear a path. Meanwhile, chants of “Free, free Palestine!” reverberated from the outside.

At a certain point, an officer is heard suggesting the deployment of a flashbang grenade, followed by a series of loud bangs. Once the barrier was breached, officers encountered protesters sitting inside a room, where they were subsequently detained.

Sheppard explained that the NYPD’s involvement was only initiated after the university officially requested assistance. He noted that several universities in the city have sought police presence on their campuses, with arrangements expected to remain in place at least until mid-May.

As campuses navigate these challenges, Sheppard emphasized the importance of universities devising plans for self-sustainability while assuring ongoing support from law enforcement to maintain campus safety and order.

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