Sayed Faisal Death – Cambridge community residents and city leaders came together in a boisterous meeting on Thursday to talk about the fatal police shooting of a 20-year-old UMass Boston student four days after the start of the year. “This has been a really difficult week for the entire city,” Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui told hundreds of people at the meeting inside the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School. “And I am aware of how recent the suffering is. We all experience grief in different ways, so it’s critical to determine what kind of help you’ll need to get through this trying and perplexing time.”
Information in details
The impassioned audience, which broke out in cries of “Justice for Faisal” during the nearly four-hour meeting, frequently interrupted the debate. Many attendees expressed dissatisfaction with officials’ explanation that they could only provide information beyond the original police reports. According to those accounts, Arif Sayed Faisal was shot and killed by police on January 4 after they were alerted to a tip that a man had leapt out of an apartment window with a knife and appeared to be attempting to stab himself. According to Cambridge police, Faisal sprinted several blocks across the city’s Cambridgeport district while holding a knife for around ten minutes.
According to investigators, after using a non-lethal “sponge round” on Faisal, an officer shot him after he refused to drop the weapon. Faisal was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital shortly after that. The Middlesex County district attorney’s office and the Cambridge Police Department, according to the authorities, are both looking into the shooting. A judge will hear testimony from all parties, make a report, and decide whether or not police are criminally culpable, according to district attorney Marian Ryan. The district attorney will next determine whether to file charges against the officer. All relevant testimony and documents are made available on the district attorney’s website once the inquiry is complete.
According to Ryan, Middlesex County is exceptional in that it offers an impartial judicial review of police shootings. She claimed that since 2015, her agency had finished three inquests and, in one instance, filed criminal charges against a police officer. Ryan claimed that she was unable to provide further information because she was still gathering evidence and because she had not yet spoken to Faisal’s family about the investigation. “You should feel safe where you live. People want to feel safe about their children,” Ryan said. “They want to know yesterday what the explanation [for the shooting] is. We’re not in a position to have all that because at the same time, you want a thorough investigation.”
She also admitted that more changes were required in the way police handled calls about behavioral health. “One thing that’s clear is we have a problem when it comes to mental health issues,” Ryan said. “We lack a workable solution. We have tested numerous models. All of them lack perfection.” When Ryan said that an investigation might take several months, the audience booed loudly. Former Cambridge Mayor Ken Reeves, who is now Cambridge NAACP president, urged officials to speed up the investigation and told residents to continue to press for information and reforms. Reeves stated that he was collaborating with other neighborhood organizations to work on systemic reforms.
Reeves declared, “We’re going to have the Cambridge we want. “That’s why I spent the better part of my life in the one place in America where I didn’t have to worry about being called the N-word, or where I wasn’t beat up or shot up or any of those things.” the speaker said. A number of attendees at the conference urged Cambridge officials to identify the officer, who has so far been revealed as a seven-year Cambridge department veteran who is currently on paid administrative leave. Imran Baki, a resident of Cambridge, said, “The officer who killed this boy is on paid leave, maybe having margaritas in Florida,” “Why don’t you dismiss him or suspend him? Although you had the ability to accomplish it, you chose not to.”
According to Christine Elow, the commissioner of Cambridge Police, officers are not named until after an investigation is finished. Elow declared that she is “absolutely committed to healing.” She pledged to try to rebuild community and police confidence. Elow stated, “As an African American woman, I am committed to reform,” “I wanted to change the world, which is one of the reasons I became a police officer. I wanted to build trust, particularly with communities of color, particularly with the African American community. It really is about us working together, engaging in these challenging talks, maybe feeling uncomfortable, and putting forth the effort.” The parents of Faisal, who was affectionately referred to as “Prince” indicated in a statement made public by the Council on American-Islamic Relations that he had never previously worked with law enforcement.
Sayed Mujibullah and Mosammat Shaheda, his parents, said in the statement, “We are completely devastated and in disbelief that our son is gone. “Prince was the most wonderful, loving, caring, generous, supportive, and deeply family-oriented person. He loved to travel, create art, and play sports with his friends.” On Sunday, they laid Faisal, their only child, to rest. Faisal was a pupil of Cambridge muralist David Fichter in 2017, and Fichter characterized him as “sweet” Residents in Cambridge should insist that police wear body cameras because they do not already do so. Arif was a good boy who was a little mischievous, but not enough to merit being killed, according to Ficther. Nothing will change if we don’t hold these officials responsible.
Sajjad Sanid, an organizer with the Bangladesh Association of New England, wrote on the group’s GoFundMe page for the family that Faisal was a “bright, hardworking and studious young man who worked at CVS” while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in engineering. The association planned a demonstration in Cambridge on Monday that attracted a large number of participants. On January 18, the Cambridge City Council will meet in special session to go over procedures and training for Cambridge police. In order to discuss the shooting on Saturday, the Cambridge Peace Commission also planned to meet with the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association.
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