Yale Students Question Use of ‘SWAT Team’ for Club Raids

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale University students are accusing the New Haven Police Department (NHPD) of using excessive force during raids at three bars and nightclubs, which led to the arrests of several students.

Two colleges at the university rented out Elevate Lounge for a private dance party. However, police showed up to perform a compliance check during the early morning hours of Oct. 2, reports the Hartford Courant. The NHPD said the venue was over capacity by 100 people, which was a safety hazard.

Students, on the other hand, claim officers were aggressive, violent and verbally abusive. Partygoers allege that SWAT team members were brandishing semi-automatic weapons before arresting five students. Additionally, Jordan Jefferson, who was Tasered by police during the raid, had to be hospitalized.

The NHPD issued a written statement explaining that their actions were valid, citing that Jefferson was Tased because he hit a police officer when he was being arrested. Jefferson has been charged with three counts of assault on an officer, interfering with an officer, one count of inciting a riot and disorderly conduct.

Furthermore, officials said underage drinking and allowing patrons under the legal age limit inside the club were major violations.

The owner of the club said he had never had a problem with Yale students before and characterized the raid as a terrorist attack. He is considering filing a lawsuit against the NHPD.

Officials at the NHPD plan to investigate the incident to determine if officers acted inappropriately.

Read the full story.

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