NYPD clears encampment inside Fordham; 15 arrests made: law enforcement sources

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, May 2, 2024
NYPD begins clearing protesters from Fordham in Lincoln Center: sources
Lindsay Tuchman, CeFaan Kim, and Shannon Sohn have team coverage of protests at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus.

HAMILTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police made 15 arrests inside Fordham University Lincoln Center after clearing the campus of demonstrators Wednesday evening, according to law enforcement sources, the day after nearly 300 people were arrested at Columbia University and City College Tuesday night.

While the scenes were calmer Wednesday at Columbia and City College, tensions quickly escalated on the Upper West Side at Fordham, prompting the university to request NYPD assistance to disperse demonstrators.

Police were on the campus where protesters erected tents inside the school and called for the administration to divest from companies connected to Israel.

Lindsay Tuchman, CeFaan Kim, and Shannon Sohn have team coverage of protests at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus.

By Wednesday evening, NYPD officers in riot gear arrived on the scene pushing protesters back with barricades before going in to clear the campus.

"In an effort to ensure further escalation does not occur, @FordhamNYC has requested our assistance to disperse an unlawful encampment of individuals inside one of their buildings," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry via a post on "X."

Police quickly cleared the campus of protesters and made 15 arrests inside the building, law enforcement sources said.

Fordham students participating in the encampment at the Lincoln Center campus are receiving suspension letters.

Meanwhile, anti-war protesters from Columbia and City College on Wednesday vowed to keep up the demonstrations after a chaotic scene Tuesday night that led to nearly 300 arrests.

Sonia Rincon reports on the rally held outside City College Wednesday night.

Many of those arrested Tuesday gathered Wednesday night outside City College on the same block of Amsterdam Avenue where police made the arrests.

They voiced their outrage, and a feeling of betrayal by their schools for calling the police on them.

"We were surrounded on all sides by hundreds of police officers," CUNY faculty member Corrina Mullin said. "It felt like a military invasion. It was terrifying."

Student protestors say they'll continue to demand divestment from their schools in companies that profit from the war in Gaza and will do that in any way that is ultimately effective.

"If CUNY does not like the images of our encampments and we are disturbing their peace, then we tell them that they must divest, they must stop disturbing the lives of the Palestinian people," said CUNY student Fatima Mohanmmed.

Students who negotiated with Columbia say that didn't work.

"The university gave us nothing more than bureaucracy, nothing more than proposals, nothing more than speculation that one day soon maybe they would consider divesting," said Columbia student negotiator Sueda Polat.

Meanwhile, new police body camera video shows NYPD officers inside Columbia's Hamilton Hall, going room to room as they reclaimed the building.

Jim Dolan has more on the NYPD's arrests of protesters and the new police body cam footage of officers inside Columbia University on Tuesday night.

Mayor Eric Adams blamed "outside agitators" for "training and co-opting" an otherwise peaceful protest to turn it into something potentially violent.

"You don't have to be the majority to influence and co-opt," Adams said. "There is a movement to radicalize young people."

The mayor said those who occupied Hamilton Hall were led by people who are unaffiliated with Columbia University.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism, Rebecca Weiner, said individuals associated with a change to more aggressive tactics were spotted at Columbia and represented an "elevated concern."

"The situation had deteriorated to the point where the safety of students, staff and the public was at risk," Police Commissioner Edward Caban said.

There were 282 arrests on a range of mainly minor offenses, 173 at City College and 119 at Columbia. Charges ranged from trespassing, to criminal mischief to burglary.

WATCH | NYPD officers clash with protesters near City College:

Sonia Rincon has the latest details on the ongoing protests at City College.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More Manhattan news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.