Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the Cambridge Police station on Sunday, calling for change following the death of a 20-year-old college student who was shot by police earlier this month.
Sayed Faisal, a student at the University of Massachusetts Boston, was shot and killed on Jan. 4 while advancing on officers with what police described as a kukri knife. Police reportedly tried to subdue Faisal with a “less lethal” form of ammunition before shooting and killing him.
Protestors lofted signs reading “Justice for Faisal” and “Justice for all victims” before heading inside Cambridge Police headquarters. The crowd sang songs and called for new police protocol when dealing with emotionally disturbed individuals.
“Right now they are on paid vacation they are on paid administrative leave. What we really need is for them to be fired right away just like the officers that murdered Tyre Nichols are and for them to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” one protestor told Boston 25.
An independent judicial inquest into the shooting has been initiated. The findings of that inquest will be forwarded to the Middlesex district attorney’s office to decide whether charges are warranted, a process that could take a year or more.
Faisal, who was known as Prince by his family, was an only child who was never violent and had never been involved with law enforcement before, his parents said in a statement released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations earlier this month.
Authorities have not released the name of the officer who opened fire. The officer, who is on paid administrative leave, is a seven-year department veteran who has never been the subject of a citizen’s complaint, according to Cambridge Police.
According to the preliminary investigation, police received a 911 call early January 4 from a resident who reported seeing a man jumping out of an apartment window with a machete which he appeared to be using to cut himself.
Officers and paramedics found the man, identified as Faisal, bleeding in an alley.
Faisal saw police, who requested that he drop the weapon, and ran for several blocks.
He then reportedly moved toward the police while still holding the weapon, even when they fired a less-than-lethal round at him. He continued to advance and one officer fired a gun, striking Faisal, who later died at a hospital, authorities said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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