NYPD arrest nearly 300 at Columbia, CCNY protests; campus deployment extended to mid-May

NYPD officers stormed Hamilton Hall on Tuesday night at Columbia University in NYC, entering through a window and arresting hundreds of protesters.


According to a statement released by a Columbia spokesperson, officers entered the campus after the university requested help.

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"After the University learned overnight that Hamilton Hall had been occupied, vandalized, and blockaded, we were left with no choice," the school said. "The decision to reach out to the NYPD was in response to the actions of the protesters, not the cause they are championing. We have made it clear that the life of campus cannot be endlessly interrupted by protesters who violate the rules and the law."

The pro-Palestinian protesters had seized the administration building over 20 hours earlier.

NYPD spokesman Carlos Nieves said he had no immediate reports of any injuries following the melee.

NYPD campus deployment extended

The NYPD said officers wouldn't enter the grounds without the college administration’s request or an imminent emergency. Now, law enforcement will be there through May 17 – the end of the university's commencement events.


WATCH: Historical coverage of Columbia University student protests

Some say that when you go to Columbia, "you know you're going to an institution which has an honored place in the history of American protest."

In a letter to senior NYPD officials, Columbia President Minouche Shafik said the administration was making the request that police remove protesters from the occupied building and a nearby tent encampment "with the utmost regret."

Inside the NYPD's raid on Columbia

Video obtained by FOX 5 NY from the NYPD shows the intense moments officers raided Hamilton Hall through a window.

Footage shows dozens of officers riding in on a wheeled SWAT vehicle as they circled the building. 

Nearby students were put on lockdown inside dorms to allow for officers to move in. 

CCNY protesters clash with police

Just blocks away at The City College of New York, demonstrators were in a standoff with police outside the public college’s main gate. 

Video posted on social media showed officers hauling some people to the ground and shoving others as they cleared people from the street and sidewalks. 

An encampment at the public college, part of the City University of New York system, has been going since Thursday.

Hundreds arrested between protests

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell says 282 people were arrested last night. Of those, 109 came from Columbia.

According to police, they will have a breakdown of how many were students, how many were affiliated with the schools and how many were not affiliated with the schools later today.

What's happening at Columbia University?

Protesters first set up a tent encampment almost two weeks ago. The school sent in police to clear the tents the following day, arresting more than 100 people, only for the students to return.


Columbia University protests: A timeline of how we got here

From Columbia University President Nemat Shafik testifying before Congress, to students returning Monday with tents to the NYC campus, here's a timeline on how we got here.

Negotiations between the protesters and the college came to a standstill in recent days, and the school set a deadline for the activists to abandon the tent encampment Monday afternoon or be suspended.

Instead, protesters defied the ultimatum and took over Hamilton Hall early Tuesday, carrying in furniture and metal barricades.

The Associated Press wire services helped contribute to this report.