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Statement on the Death of Sayed Arif Faisal

I have struggled to find the words to address everyone amidst this tragedy. As your Mayor, as a South Asian immigrant deeply connected to the large Bengali community here in Cambridge, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sayed Arif Faisal.

I’ve been with the Bengali Community during your most joyous moments: graduations, birthday parties, and celebrations at Danehy Park. Tonight, I share your distress at your lowest point, when you have lost a member of your family; a son, nephew, cousin, friend, and community member.

I did not have the opportunity to know Faisal in life, but I have learned from his loved ones over the past week that he was a kind and thoughtful friend with a warm smile and big heart. At his funeral on Saturday, I heard about a bridge builder who was generous and deeply committed to his community. Everyone knew him as a support system with big plans and great potential. Instead, his parents had to bury their only child—who they lovingly called Prince—at the age of twenty. I know this grief is felt across our city.

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.

We have been working since last week to schedule meetings in the community to provide information and hear directly from residents. My role at this point is to ensure there is full transparency, to uplift the voices of the Bengali community, and to grieve with the family and friends of Sayed Arif Faisal.

The first community meeting is on Thursday, January 12 at 6pm at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School (102 Putnam Avenue) where City Leadership and the District Attorney will share information about the investigation process and any updates thus far. I have called a Special City Council Meeting next Wednesday, January 18 at 3pm to discuss protocols, processes, and training of the Cambridge Police Department related to the shooting of Sayed Faisal. Additional community meetings will be scheduled in the coming weeks as well.

To Faisal’s family and friends, my heart breaks with you. Know that I hear you and your demands for accountability and change. I understand it feels as though the city you’ve called “home” has failed you; insofar as I’m able to repair this break, please know I am committed to doing so.

As city leaders, we have unfinished work to address, and we must do everything we can to ensure this never happens again.
Page was posted on 1/9/2023 7:04 PM
Page was last modified on 12/31/2023 11:05 PM
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