Columbia Protesters Demanded Deliveries Of ‘Humanitarian Aid.’ The NYPD Delivered Justice Instead


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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New York Police Department officers have entered and begun making arrests at Columbia University Tuesday evening after pro-Palestine protesters took over the building in the early morning, video shows.

Early Tuesday morning a handful of pro-Palestine protesters were caught taking over Columbia’s Hamilton Hall, with video footage showing activists in black masks breaking glass doors and flying an ‘Intifada’ flag outside of the building. Additional reports claimed that the activists allegedly held a building worker hostage while taking over.

Video footage posted to Twitter shows officials dressed in full riot gear on a large truck making entrance into one of the windows of Hamilton Hall. (RELATED: UNC Chancellor Rolls Up With Platoon Of Police And Puts American Flag Back Up On Campus)

NYPD officials told CNN that during the raid officials used “distraction devices,” despite protesters claiming that they had deployed tear gas on the activists.

Following authorities entrance, mass arrests could be seen made within clips online showing officers using zip tie handcuffs on activists, however, it is unclear how many have been arrested.

Just prior to the green light from Columbia University officials in allowing NYPD to enter the building, a university spokesman released a statement on the school’s website stating that the decision was made “to restore safety and order to our community.”

“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,” the statement read.

“Columbia public safety personnel were forced out of the building, and a member of our facilities team was threatened. We will not risk the safety of our community or the potential for further escalation.”

As Vice President of Communication Ben Chang warned students in a press release Tuesday evening that suspension would be given to students who “did not commit to the terms” they offered, those occupy the building could be facing expulsion.

Police presence has been requested to stay on campus through at least May 17, with Columbia President Nemat “Minouche” Shafik asking officers in a letter to help “maintain order and ensure encampments are not reestablished,” according to NBC News.

While Shafik shifted remaining classes for the semester to an online format, the school is still expected to continued with their graduation ceremony scheduled for May 15 with an estimated 15,000 students set to graduate.