Dozens rally for answers over fatal police killing of UMass Boston student in January

CAMBRIDGE, Mass — More than a dozen people rallied outside Cambridge City Hall Monday, continuing to fight for transparency after police shot and killed a UMass Boston student back in January.

The group Boston Party for Socialism and Liberation has been demanding answers since the shooting, taking to the streets for months, and now they plan to picket outside city hall for this entire week.

“So many students across this city rightfully so, feel if it can happen to Faisal, who was a student at UMass Boston, it can happen to any one of us, and so this is a fight that means a lot to us, so we’re not going to stop until we get justice,” said Husayn Karimi, an organizer with Boston Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Cambridge Police say they responded to a disturbance call and were faced with Arif Sayed Faisal, who was holding a knife that night.

Police say they tried to use less than lethal force before shooting and killing the 20-year-old.

Now, this group is pushing the city for answers.

“Including releasing the names of the officers, firing the officers and releasing the unredacted police report and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law,” said Karimi. “Because we don’t think this should happen again and if the police aren’t held accountable then they’ll feel empowered, what’s going to stop them from doing it again?”

Cambridge city leaders say they will take action, including implementing body cameras, reviewing their use of force policies, and enhancing mental health services, especially on calls that may not require police.

The city has also hired an independent firm based in D.C. called Police Executive Research Forum to review the police department and how it handled this case.

“Their positive steps in showing that what we’re doing is right, things that they said they could never do, now they’re suddenly doing it, why because of the movement,” said Karimi.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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