Police Lt. Suspended After Saying Cops Should Meet Violence With Violence
Arlington, TX – The incoming leader of the Massachusetts Police Association (MPA) was suspended by his department on Tuesday for the rhetoric he used in a recent newsletter.
Arlington Police Lieutenant Rick Pedrini was placed on paid administrative leave on Oct. 30 for columns he wrote for The Sentinel, the police advocacy organization’s internal publication, the Boston Herald reported.
"I am sick and tired of the social justice warriors telling us how to do our jobs," Lt. Pedrini wrote in a Man on the Street column for MPA.
"It’s time we forget about 'restraint', 'measured responses', 'procedural justice', 'de-escalation', 'stigma-reduction', and other feel-good BS that is getting our officers killed,” he wrote.
“Let’s stop lipsynching, please! Let’s meet violence with violence and get the job done,” the lieutenant wrote.
He also called Massachusetts’ newly-signed criminal justice bill "100 plus pages of blather and feel‐good initiatives that will do nothing to put maggot criminals behind bars."
Lt. Pedrini told WBUR that the three columns he contributed to The Sentinel were meant to be satirical.
“It's an association newsletter. It's not meant to be taken word for word," the soon-to-be head of the state’s largest police association said.
Lt. Pedrini, who has been a member of the Arlington police force for 22 years, said his columns were “satire” and were supposed to be considered entertainment, WBUR reported.
He told WBUR that the columns had "nothing to do with how I conduct myself professionally. I don't get citizen complaints. I'm bought into the procedural justice and all the ideals the Arlington police stand for."
But Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan disagreed with Lt. Pedrini’s characterization of his writings.
Chief Ryan said the lieutenant had put the town’s trust in its police department at risk with his columns, Wicked Local Arlington reported.
“Such remarks risk eroding the public trust that municipal police departments in Massachusetts have worked so hard to build in recent years,” the chief said. “I disavow the remarks in the strongest possible terms.”
The outgoing director of MPA said reaction to the columns by police officers was mixed at a recent conference.
MPA Executive Director Jim Machado told WBUR that some of the membership agreed with Lt. Pedrini’s opinion and got his sense of humor, and some thought it was too much.
"He's a respected guy in the law enforcement community in the Boston area," he said.
Machado also told WBUR that other police officers probably agreed that cop killers were "maggots."
The columns, which Lt. Pedrini said were meant to be "a tongue-in-cheek political satire for the membership," addressed several controversial current events and issues, including immigration, protesters, and political correctness.
He compared the attack on the U.S. southern border to Pearl Harbor and mocked modern border enforcement.
“I have to chuckle at our border enforcement. The federal government is sending troops to the border and the liberals complain. Then we’re told, they have no enforcement authority. Meanwhile, a ‘caravan’ of illegals is traveling up through Mexico to demand all the rights of US citizens when they get here,” Lt. Pedrini wrote.
“Back on December 7th, 1941, a caravan of Japanese planes tried this in Hawaii. We shot at them. Hell, we didn’t even suspend posse comitatus. The famed Japanese Admiral Yamamoto once said, ‘You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would (be) a rifle behind every blade of grass.’ How times have changed. Today, we’d let them land on our airstrips,” he posited.
The lieutenant joked about how he rooted for the protester who screwed up everybody’s 4th of July by climbing the Statue of Liberty “to fall… and land on Kaepernick.”
He also made fun of Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone for previously dressing up as Christopher Columbus, and then changing the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day “to please the Antifa, BLM, America-hater crowd.”
Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine denounced Lt. Pedrini’s columns alongside the Arlington police chief in a press release.
“I am deeply disturbed by the apparent disregard for human life and for the duty of a police officer shown by Richard Pedrini in the Massachusetts Police Association newsletter,” the town manager said. “These comments do not represent the mission and values of the Arlington Police Department or the town of Arlington. The sentiment raised by these comments is disturbing. The Town is taking these comments very seriously, and we will thoroughly investigate this matter.”
The Arlington police chief has vigorously tried to distance his police department from the columns written by one of his officials.
"Mr. Pedrini writes as an MPA official, not as an official of the APD," Chief Ryan wrote in an email to MassLive. "APD's unwavering commitment to fair and impartial policing has been well documented."
The chief said Lt. Pedrini had been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an investigation.