Hamden officer pleads guilty to assault in connection with controversial police shooting from 2019 | Connecticut News

NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – A Hamden officer involved in the shooting of an unarmed woman has pleaded guilty to an assault charge.

Devin Eaton, 32, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, the U.S. State’s Attorney’s office in New Haven announced Thursday.

Hamden Police Department’s acting police chief is recommending that a Hamden police officer charged in an officer-involved shooting terminate his employment.

Under the terms of a plea deal, Eaton faces a total effective sentence of five years’ incarceration, execution suspended following the service of eighteen months’ incarceration, to be followed by three years of probation.

According to the U.S. State’s Attorney, Eaton’s plea stems from an on-duty incident on April 16, 2019. That early morning, Eaton and Yale University Police Officer Terrance Pollock were involved in a shooting incident in New Haven in the area of Argyle Street at Dixwell Avenue.

During the non-deadly incident, Stephanie Washington was shot and seriously wounded.

The shooting was the subject of a Use of Force Report issued by the New Haven State’s Attorney, and made available to the public, on Oct. 17, 2019.

As detailed in the report, the officers encountered Washington and Paul Witherspoon, the driver of the car in which she was a passenger, during the investigation of a 911 call of a reported armed robbery at the Go On Gas/White Stone Mini-Mart located at 144 Arch St. in Hamden. Eaton was found to have discharged his service weapon 13 times at the car, based upon a mistaken belief that Witherspoon had displayed a firearm while responding to the officer’s commands to exit the car.

It was later determined that, at the time of the shooting, neither Witherspoon nor Washington were in possession of a firearm.

Washington was struck by gunfire as a result of Eaton’s actions and was treated at Yale New Haven Hospital for serious but non-life threatening injuries. Witherspoon did not sustain any injuries.

Eaton was charged criminally as a result of the investigation.

The office of the Hamden Mayor stated that they have been in contact with a representative from the union Eaton is a part of and they say he intends to comply and resign from the Hamden Police Department by Friday.

As part of the plea deal, he agreed to never seek employment as a sworn law enforcement officer in the U.S.

Officer Pollock was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing related to the incident.

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