Calmer atmosphere returns to Columbia University as NYPD clears protesters

The intervention came in response to a request for assistance from university President Dr. Minouche Shafik.

Edric Robinson

May 1, 2024, 6:37 PM

Updated 21 days ago


A much calmer atmosphere envelops Columbia University's campus Wednesday following a night of intense confrontation between law enforcement and protesters.
The events transpired as the NYPD intervened to arrest numerous pro-Palestinian demonstrators who had barricaded themselves inside Hamilton Hall on the Morningside campus.
“We’re proud to say they have been removed from the campus,” said Mayor Eric Adams, praising the NYPD’s operation Tuesday.
He commended officers for their professionalism and restraint.
The intervention came in response to a request for assistance from university President Dr. Minouche Shafik.
“At their request we, went in to remove those who turned the peaceful protest into a place where antisemitism and anti-Israel attitudes were pervasive. Their acknowledgement that outside agitators were on their grounds training and co-opting this movement,” said Adams.
Commissioner Edward Caban provided further insight, revealing, "Approximately 300 arrests were made, with charges ranging from trespassing to criminal mischief. We are working to determine the affiliation of those involved and address the influence of outside agitators."
As tensions mounted, similar clashes erupted at the City College of New York, contributing to the overall arrest count.
At Columbia University, police confirmed the arrest of around 109 individuals, with officers deploying non-lethal tactics to disperse the protesters barricaded inside Hamilton Hall.
NYPD video showed protesters had barricaded themselves inside the Hall using chairs, vending machines and tables.
Students residing in dormitories were instructed to shelter in place for their safety, underscoring the gravity of the situation.
In response to the incident, Columbia University announced that any student protesters involved would face expulsion for their actions.
However, the exact number of students among those arrested remains uncertain.
The university has also requested continued NYPD presence on campus until May 17 to prevent the formation of new encampments, reaffirming its commitment to maintaining order and safety.
As Columbia University navigates the aftermath of Tuesday night's events, the campus community looks towards a return to normalcy. Commencement ceremony will be on May 15.

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