Ottawa police officer charged with manslaughter in death of Abdirahman Abdi

By Olivia Bowden

An Ottawa police officer has been charged with manslaughter in the July 2016 death of Somali-Canadian Abdirahman Abdi, who died following a confrontation with two constables outside of his Hintonburg apartment, just west of Centretown.

The Ontario Special Investigations Unit announced March 6 that Const. Daniel Montsion faces charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. The charges come as the result of a seven-month investigation.

Montsion was one of two officers involved in the altercation with Abdi last July 24.
The other officer, Const. Dave Weir, was not charged.

Abdi, 37, had mental health issues, according to his family. Video of the some of the interactions between police officers and Abdi was taken by witnesses and widely distributed via news outlets and social media.

The initial encounter between police and Abdi was not captured on video, but police were seen standing over Abdi and later administering CPR.

Advocacy groups and hundreds of people participated a protest march in the wake of the incident, raising concerns about police relations with visible minorities in the city.

Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau has stated he is determined to scrutinize diversity issues within the force and strengthen relationships with communities throughout the city.

Montsion is scheduled to appear in court on March 29.