Protests On Student's Death Cuts In-Person Cambridge Council Meeting Short

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Monday night Cambridge City Council meeting was forced to an online format after protestors flooded the chamber, chanting and demanding officials release the names of city police officers involved in the shooting of 20-year-old Sayed Faisel.

Police claim that on the day of the officer-involved shooting on January 4, the University of Massachusetts Boston student approached officers armed with a knife. Since then, the city has held multiple sessions for public comment and questions over Faisel's death, and deliberations on how Cambridge's policies should be reformed to prevent a death like this in the future.

The Mayor of Cambridge Sumbul Siddiqui called for a "Special Meeting" on Wednesday, January 18 to discuss officer protocols and trainings in the wake of Faisel's death. During that meeting, residents of Cambridge and beyond criticized the current framework, questioning the use of police force in situations that are incidents of a mental health crisis.

But those types of conversations were cut short in Monday's meeting, after a group of protestors entered the chamber and drowned out others with chants saying, "release the names." The Cambridge City Council called for a recess following the outburst, and ultimately moved the meeting to an online setting.

"The Cambridge City Council would rather pack up and leave than answer and meet a simple request for transparency and judgement to release the officers' names who killed our brother, Sayed Faisel," one of protestors said at the meeting.

Read More: Cambridge To Address Fatal Police-Involved Shooting Of UMass Boston Student

In a statement issued prior to the Special Meeting, Mayor Siddiqui said only time will tell the whole truth— after the investigation into the shooting is concluded.

"Where we go from here is challenging. There are a lot of questions and few answers at this point. The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office is leading the investigation into this incident. This process will take time, and that is frustrating because all of us want answers," Siddiqui said.

WBZ's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports.

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