Letters to the Editor
Originally Published September 3, 2019 in the Arlington Advocate
As a resident of Arlington for nearly 25 years, a retired public school teacher, and an Arlington Town Meeting member, I am appalled that Officer Pedrini is continuing as an employee in our Arlington Police Department.
Officer Pedrini’s written apology came across merely as a cheap and meaningless way to move the public eye away from his horrendous written advocacy to dehumanize and attack vulnerable people, by characterizing them in a bigoted manner. What he wrote was racist and morally reprehensible, and it is shockingly inappropriate for a mature, high ranking educated officer in our Arlington Police Department to exhibit such extremely poor judgement. What does such lack of judgement indicate about his ability to interact with the populations he expressed violent wishes toward?
Recently released emails accessed under a public records request reveals that recently retired APD Chief Fred Ryan — who the entire Arlington community has great respect for — doubted that Officer Pedrini had any remorse for what he wrote or that he would be able to change his mindset. Pedrini’s writings display his beliefs and are a reflection of his character. Yet no significant consequences were imposed upon Officer Pedrini, and town leadership seems to lack any genuine concern about how they have empowered him on the police force, including by reinstating his right to carry a firearm. Additionally, I fear the financial liability of the town should anyone decide to litigate against Pedrini in the future based on questions of bias. Any future cases involving Pedrini and anyone he targeted in his writings can now be called to question.
This lack of enforcing serious consequences on Pedrini is not only wrong for our Arlington community, it also is frightening and cavalier that our Arlington leadership let this grave offense pass. This can in turn have severe implications for public safety in our community, and I for one do not feel comfortable about that.
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 18