Arlington, MA– Arlington Police Lieutenant Rick Pedrini was placed on paid administrative leave last year after he encouraged police officers to “meet violence with violence” in a column he wrote for the Massachusetts Police Association. Having completed a restorative justice program, Pedrini will return to work Monday, April 15, starting out in a modified work assignment in the police department office, reports WBUR.
Pedrini wrote a couple of columns in the newsletter of the Massachusetts Police Association that offended many police officers and Massachusetts residents. He wrote in one piece: "I am sick and tired of the social justice warriors telling us how to do our jobs. 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. Let’s stop lipsynching, please! Let’s meet violence with violence and get the job done."
After the column was published, the president of the Massachusetts Police Association defended Lt. Pedrini at first, stating the words written were supposed to be read in a satirical fashion, as Pedrini himself insisted. On the other hand, the MPA president admitted that the column “did not uphold the high standards of the MPA and its mission.” Pedrini's columns also criticized the government's immigration policy and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Following the public outcry, town officials decided to put Pedrini through a restorative justice program in February in order to help rebuild public trust. The lieutenant willingly participated and has openly expressed remorse for the words he used, says Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine.
Part of the "restorative justice program" required Pedrini to meet with members of the community, including the Mystic Valley NAACP and immigrant representatives. Chapdelaine said, "A big part of restorative justice is the community, so a lot more of the process is in the open."
In accordance with the program, and in order for him to return to work, Pedrini will have to give a public apology. There will be other punitive actions as well which the town is not disclosing at this time. The apology will take place approximately two weeks, says Chapdelaine.
On Monday, Pedrini will return to the department at a desk job under the close supervision of Arlington Police Chief Juliann Flaherty.
Image via Massachusetts Police Association