NYPD Officers Storm Columbia University

Police began clearing protesters from encampment Tuesday night
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2024 8:55 PM CDT
Updated May 1, 2024 12:00 AM CDT
NYPD Officers Storm Columbia University
New York police officers move towards an entrance to Columbia University, Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in New York. After entering the campus, a contingent of police officers approached Hamilton Hall, the administration building that student protesters began occupying in the morning.   (AP Photo/Julius Motal)

Officers from the New York Police Department stormed Columbia University Tuesday night, clearing pro-Palestinian protesters from the campus encampment. Student protesters were "standing firm" at the university gates as the police operation loomed, chanting, "We will not move. We will not bend. The occupation has to end." Protesters who were outside were later seen being led away in zip ties, and police soon made their way to Hamilton Hall, a campus building in which a group of protesters had barricaded themselves Tuesday morning.

Some police entered the building from the ground floor while others accessed a second-floor window using a ramp, NBC News reports. Anyone found inside was to be charged with third-degree burglary, criminal mischief, and trespassing, the NYPD said. Those in the encampments but not in the hall were to be charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.

The NYPD said "professional, external actors" were involved in the Hamilton Hall occupation, and Columbia blamed the situation on the protesters, some of whom it believes are not students, CNN reports. "We regret that protesters have chosen to escalate the situation through their actions. After the University learned overnight that Hamilton Hall had been occupied, vandalized, and blockaded, we were left with no choice" but to request police involvement, the university said in a statement.

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About 100 people were arrested during the operation, 40 of them in Hamilton Hall, NBC New York reports. The station's managing editor posted a letter from Columbia to the NYPD in which the university asks for a police presence to remain on campus through graduation on May 17. This is a developing story and has been updated with new details. (More Columbia University stories.)

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