Huge Police Force Enters Columbia University, Unprecedented View as NYPD Clears Campus After Pro-Palestine Protests

More than fifty protestors detained many concealing their identities, were removed from the premises

New York City police officers took action at Columbia University on Tuesday night to remove protesters from an academic building and an encampment. The university authorized the police intervention to address the situation.

Hundreds of officers arrived at the Morningside Heights campus around 9 p.m. Their focus was on Hamilton Hall, which had been occupied by protesters, escalating the ongoing campus demonstrations. However, officers encountered resistance as the building's entrance was barricaded.

NYPD Enters Columbia University
Hundreds of NYPD Officials entered Columbia University to evacuate pro-Palestine protestors from the campus X

To gain access, police used specialized equipment and distraction devices. Within an hour, they successfully cleared the building and made multiple arrests.

Protesters, many concealing their identities, were removed from the premises and taken into custody. Some continued to express anti-Israel sentiments.

The police presence extended beyond the campus to nearby off-campus housing, where tensions remained high.

Columbia University, responding swiftly, expressed regret at involving law enforcement but emphasized the need to ensure safety and prevent further escalation.

The police operation extended to clearing a tent city on the campus lawn. Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry described the operation as successful.

Approximately 100 protesters were arrested during the operation and in subsequent hours. Charges included burglary, criminal mischief, trespassing, and disorderly conduct.

Despite dispersing the crowds, police remained on campus until the university's upcoming commencement ceremony.

The decision to involve the NYPD came after the university assessed the situation and determined the need for outside intervention.

Earlier in the day, police had prepared for action, anticipating the university's call for assistance.

In response to the police intervention, Columbia's faculty expressed criticism of the administration's handling of the situation.

The protest began weeks ago when students set up an encampment in solidarity with Palestine. The university had previously attempted to remove the protesters, resulting in arrests and suspensions.

The recent escalation prompted the university to seek police assistance once again.

The NYPD noted the presence of individuals not affiliated with the university or the protest cause among the demonstrators who had occupied Hamilton Hall.

The ongoing protests underscored broader tensions regarding free expression and campus activism at elite universities across the country.