City Board Member Accuses Cops Of Being Intimidating By Speaking At Town Hall

Holly Matkin

"I'm feeling pretty intimidated by the police officers in this crowd," said Select Board Member Andrew Friedmann.

Reading, MA – A group of Reading police officers walked out of a Reading Select Board meeting on Tuesday after a board member claimed that he was “feeling pretty intimidated” by the officers’ presence.

The Reading Police Department (RPD) has been without a police chief for over one year, WCVB reported.

The officers attended the meeting to ask the board to vote on hiring a new chief.

"What we are asking is for you to take action on something that has been in front of you for an exorbitant amount of time," one of the officers said during the town hall meeting.

Many of his fellow officers also spoke out in favor of moving the hiring process forward.

But Reading Select Board Member Andrew Friedmann apparently took the officers’ unity on the issue as some sort of threat.

"I'm feeling pretty intimidated by the police officers in this crowd," Friedmann said. "You laugh at that, and you think that's funny, but I have to live in this town and all of you drive around town with guns."

Well over a dozen people in the crowd – many of whom were visibly frustrated by the offensive comments – immediately rose to their feet and abruptly left the room.

“We’re all taxpayers, too,” one officer said on his way out the door, according to WFXT.

On Wednesday, Board Chair Vanessa Alvarado apologized for the way the situation was handled.

“The select board fully supports our officers and public safety staff,” she told WCVB.

Board Vice Chair John Halsey was mortified by what Friedmann said.

"Frankly, I thought the comment out of nowhere,” Halsey told WCVB. “For me, it was embarrassing.”

“I think it's awful that here we are, having an interview about something in our town that never should have happened, about a topic where we take great pride – which is our police force,” the vice chair added.

RPD declined to comment on Friedmann’s anti-police statements.

On Wednesday, the Reading firefighters’ union said it is standing in solidarity with the men and women of police department.

"Our members would like to express the support we have for our brothers and sisters in blue at the Reading Police Department," the union said in a Facebook post. "Everyday we work closely with these officers to serve the public. The men and women of the organization are professionals that put themselves at risk every time they report for duty. We stand with them."

Friedmann ultimately apologized for his comments during a brief interview with WFXT on Wednesday.

“I deeply regret my statement and recognize it was wrong,” the select board member said. “It was one of those comments made in the heat of the moment wish I could take back.”

He said he is “absolutely not” concerned about the city’s police force being armed.

“It was just a gut reaction it was stupid and unfounded and again I feel really bad about saying it,” Friedmann told WFXT.

Friedmann is currently running for re-election, according to the Reading Patch.

Comments (41)
Aramovich
Aramovich

Delusional wimp. He's educated, white and well to do. What does he have to fear?

No. 1-29
shooter
shooter

Waaaahhh!

Get a set, you idiot.

flybynight
flybynight

And winner of the Stephen Colbert look alike contest.

ArkyArgyle
ArkyArgyle

Too many emotionally unstable people are being elected to office.

ccimeyers
ccimeyers

He wishes he can take it back only because he's running for office again. I hope he loses. I stand with the blue. He meant every word

JBoH
JBoH

The wussification of America continues.

Blueknight47
Blueknight47

Ok numb nuts! What criminal acts are you involved in that you fear your local police?

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

"I'm feeling pretty intimidated by the police officers in this crowd," Friedmann said. "You laugh at that, and you think that's funny, but I have to live in this town and all of you drive around town with guns."

Isn't that the dumbest thing we've ever heard? Law enforcement officers are armed when they patrol, and that is intimidating to this public official.

Most people are intimidated instead by armed criminals, and kind of hope that there are some sworn officers out there to counter them.

Reading, MA has not had a police chief for over a year.

Chairlawyer
Chairlawyer

Was he born without testicles or is this something new?

2 Replies

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

Testicles have nothing to do with it. All woman are braver then this man.

Michael Bryant
Michael Bryant

Gonadless El Headupperassy

militans Deo
militans Deo

In the heat of the moment??? Really? This idiot is probably one of those fools who believe speech is violence equal to physical violence. What a foolish and sad state this nation and society has come be in.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

Trying to save money so they're not hiring a Chief......... Just a thoiught

Viking24
Viking24

Are you voting for Bernie?
Never mind.

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

Only one thing was left out of this story and that is that he is a snowflake(active word - flake) and a Socialistic Democrat.

firedogg95
firedogg95

Well, this is absolutely the most absurd thing a Selectman/Council Member could say. Where is all the outrage, anger and chants for him to resign? If he is saying these as a "gut response" what else is saying that no one hears?

LostAllSanity
LostAllSanity

Intimidated? Maybe one of the women attending could protect this p___y. Read, MA - you have a real leader there. Isn't it time of the year for the Girl Scouts to sell cookies. Maybe that is a project for Friedmann. Maybe the Scouts would not intimidate this giant amongst men. /sarc

Joeknows
Joeknows

Triggered little wimp. I think it's time for the good people of Reading, MA to stand up and remove this fool on election day!

Cduncanf
Cduncanf

The back story is that some Obama affiliated group came in and backed all these assholes and they took over the town government.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Apparently the simple presence of a law enforcement officer is enough to instantiate this educated white individual..... wonder why he's so scared of the cops?

Anomie88
Anomie88

Maybe they can give him a comfort animal and put him in a sound-proof, safe place when the police drive by or come to meetings. He said he regretted his comments and made them in the "heat of the moment." In other words, his true feelings slipped out. The Greatest Generation has given way to a society of men whose testosterone and gumption has been destroyed by the media's and the liberal's emasculation of men. His apology is null and void like his manhood.

ScoutLeduxStarr
ScoutLeduxStarr

Another Portland in the making...woody Allan look a like had to change his depends

Stanracer
Stanracer

Want to get things done???Stop voting in bleeding heart, hug-a-thug, police hating, liberal politicians. Problem solved.

Big John 603
Big John 603

Do not accept his idiots apology. He didn’t mean it. He said what he meant in the meeting. He is trying to cover his hide.

GForce48
GForce48

Someone is a close cousin to a snowflake...probably shouldn't be in the business!

Hi_estCommieDenom
Hi_estCommieDenom

Did anyone check to see if Friedmann has warrants?? Maybe that’s why he’s scared of police... 🤔🤔

NickyJ
NickyJ

What a sissy. He probably went home and hid behind the couch.

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

Wonder if it gave the a$$hole PTSD?

MKD23
MKD23

His only regret is saying it out loud.

mbfritz
mbfritz

For Gosh Sakes people/citizens of Reading- DO NOT RE-ELECT THIS IDIOT!

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

He may want to have his testosterone levels checked. What a pussy.


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