Residents Question, Slam Officials at Meeting on Deadly Cambridge Police Shooting

Sayed Faisal, a 20-year-old, was shot by police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Jan. 4; a community meeting Thursday transitioned into a protest, with attendees shouting "Justice for Faisal"

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A community meeting about a police shooting in Cambridge, Massachusetts, transitioned into a protest as emotions overcame the room.

The meeting was held to discuss the death of 20-year-old Sayed Faisal last week at the hands of the Cambridge Police Department.

"Justice for Faisal!" people shouted while hoisting signs reading the same at the meeting.

Police say Faisal jumped out of a window on Jan. 4 and approached an officer with a knife. The Cambridge Police Department said that after non-lethal foam rounds failed to stop him, an officer shot and killed him.

"This is a significant tragedy," Cambridge Police Commissioner Christine Flow said through tears. "We look forward to the opportunity to prove to you all that we are still a resource that you can trust and rely on."

A member of the crowd shouted back in response, "No one trusts you."

Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan laid out the county's judicial process in the case.

"To heal and to go forward is to have the real facts of what's happened," Ryan said.

"Why don't you charge the cop with murder?" a member of the crowd fired back.

Sayed Faisal, a 20-year-old student, was shot by police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Jan. 4; hundreds of protesters demanded justice Monday

Some in attendance said it was important to acknowledge that Faisal was carrying a knife.

"This whole crowd is approaching this as if Faisal did not have a weapon, when he did," said Cambridge resident Michael Stead. "Tell the truth. Don't appease these people. And that is what they did."

Others said they were thankful officials spoke with residents over three hours.

"That's good leadership," said resident Emmy Odunze. "It's about staying in touch with the people that put you in that position in the first place."

The meeting yielded little understanding beyond mutual feelings of grief.

"Prime time of his life," family friend Nazda Allen said. "It is extremely sad and I'm devastated."

Days earlier, hundreds of protesters called for accountability during a rally outside Cambridge City Hall.

Family and friends of Faisal have been demanding answers, saying he was a good-hearted and kind person.

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.

"We are completely devastated and in disbelief that our son is gone," the Cambridge residents said. "Prince was the most wonderful, loving, caring, generous, supportive, and deeply family-oriented person. He loved to travel, create art, and play sports wih his friends."

Syed Faisal was shot by a Cambridge police officer. Now his loved ones are searching for answers.

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, police spokesperson Jeremy Warnick said Monday.

According to the preliminary investigation, police received a 911 call early last Wednesday afternoon 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.

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