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Sayed Arif Faisal Inquest Determination

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that, following an inquest, Judge John Coffey has issued a report regarding the death of Sayed Arif Faisal. The report finds the officer’s actions to be justified and as a result, no criminal charges will be filed.

For the last 9 months, our community has grappled with the pain stemming from Faisal’s death. This inquest process does not lessen the agony that is felt by Faisal’s family who lost their 20-year old son, cousin, nephew, and friend. The report describes, in detail, a young man suffering from an acute mental health crisis, who did not receive the appropriate support he desperately needed. Learning that the officer's actions were justified does not mean that we can simply move forward from this tragedy. Faisal’s families' call for justice will be channeled into the work we do as a City to rethink how public safety responds to those in crisis.

I have been in contact with Faisal’s loved ones, and my heart goes out to them during this challenging time. We can’t bring him back to his family, but we must take steps to prevent this from happening again. 

Since Faisal’s death, the City has taken several important steps to prevent a scenario like this from recurring in our city. These actions include: 

  1. Establishing the City of Cambridge’s Community Safety Department, dedicated to offering residents an alternative police response that emphasizes mental and behavioral health concerns in our most vulnerable communities;

  2. Increasing funding for mental health resources, especially in underserved communities, to address the pressing needs of our residents;

  3. Engaging the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) to independently review the Cambridge Police Department’s current training programs, policies, and protocols to ensure they meet the highest standards of professionalism and accountability, and and produce a set of recommendations after a review of the inquest; and

  4. Developing a plan to implement body cameras across the Cambridge Police Department.

I appreciate everyone who has tirelessly advocated for accountability and transparency. Know that your voices are heard and deeply respected by my Office. 

Sayed Arif Faisal should be with us today, and I am so sorry he is not.

Page was posted on 10/10/2023 11:32 AM
Page was last modified on 10/10/2023 5:02 PM
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