Abdirahman Abdi signs amongst the protests signs in Downtown Ottawa, June, 2020
|Date||July 24, 2016|
|Time||c. 9:30 a.m. (EDT)|
|Location||Fairmont Avenue and Wellington Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Participants||Constable Daniel Montsion|
|Charges||Manslaughter, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon|
The death of Abdirahman Abdi, a Somali-Canadian, occurred on July 24, 2016, in the neighbourhood of Hintonburg in the Kitchissippi Ward of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Abdi died in an incident with the Ottawa Police Service.
Abdi had come to Canada from Somalia in 2009. He worked at a local car wash, though he was unemployed in the months leading up to his death. At the time of his death, he was 37 years old. Following his death, Abdi's family described him as someone with mental health issues.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. on July 24, 2016, police were called to the Hintonburg Bridgehead coffee shop on the corner of Fairmont Avenue and Wellington Street West over allegations that Abdi was groping women there. J.M. Duval, a witness who was present at the coffee shop since 9:15 a.m., said he saw a commotion and that the front doors were locked as a group outside restrained Abdi. Duval said it looked like Abdi was trying to either flee or get back into the shop. Duval asked the allegedly assaulted woman (who had been taken to the back of the shop) in French what had happened and she said (translated) "He groped me." repeatedly. Tracey Clark, the owner of Bridgehead who was not present during the incident, gave a statement on August 5 after speaking with staff and customers, describing Abdi as having harassed and assaulted multiple people in the shop. Clark mentioned this was not the first incident with him and that he would sometimes stare at customers and get too close to them. Clark said that they had previously intervened by asking Abdi if he was aware of what he was doing and if he could stop.
After the Bridgehead confrontation, police pursued Abdi 250 metres (three blocks) and arrested him outside his apartment building at 55 Hilda Street. During that encounter, Abdi began to suffer "medical distress". Dispatchers sent an ambulance at 9:52 a.m., and a paramedic reported "vital signs absent" at 9:59 a.m.
Abdi was later taken to the Ottawa Civic Hospital where a doctor informed the family he had died 45 minutes prior to arrival. His death was announced to the public at 3:17 p.m. on Monday, July 25.
As required under the Police Services Act, the provincial Special Investigations Unit (SIU) conducted an investigation into the incident. The SIU is required to investigate all reports of deaths, serious injuries, or sexual assaults in relation to provincial or municipal police officers.
Two Ottawa Police Service officers who were involved in the arrest – Constable David Weir and Constable Daniel Montsion – were designated as subject officers during the course of the investigation. Constable Weir was later re-classified as a witness officer, while Constable Montsion would be charged with manslaughter.
On March 6, 2017, the SIU laid charges against Constable Daniel Montsion for manslaughter, aggravated assault, and assault with a weapon in relation to the death of Abdi. All evidence has been presented in the case but the decision is not expected until mid- or late 2020 at the earliest.
Abdi's funeral was held on Friday, July 29 at the Ottawa (Main) Mosque, with 800 inside and more outside. Naeem Malik, President of the Ottawa Muslim Association, estimated total attendance at over 2,000 people. The funeral was led by Imam Mohamed Hachimi and a family statement was read by Imam Sikander Hashmi of the Kanata Muslim Association. Mayor Jim Watson spoke at the funeral.
The Canadian Somali Mothers' Association called for two officers to be removed and the Canadian Council of Muslim Women requested a critical look at the case.
Police pursue 37-year-old Abdirahman Abdi on foot for some 250 metres, and arrest him outside his apartment
last Sunday morning police were called to a coffee shop to investigate a disturbance, which allegedly involved Mr. Abdi groping women(updated July 30)
Clark wasn't at the Bridgehead shop on the corner of Wellington Street West and Fairmont Avenue on the Sunday morning when the incident began, but said she has spoken with staff and customers who were there. She would not go into great detail about what happened, in part due to ongoing investigations, describing Abdi's actions only as an "assault" and "harassment" of more than one person inside. "It was a rapidly escalating situation where Mr. Abdi did harass a customer, and more than one, and several customers [sought] to move him out of the store to restrain him until police could arrive," Clark said.
He was transported to Ottawa Civic Hospital.
Friday’s funeral drew more than 800 mourners to the Ottawa Mosque on Northwestern Avenue, with many more spilling out the front steps and onto the lawn outside.
The funeral for the Ottawa man who died following a confrontation with police took place at the Ottawa Main Mosque Friday .. The president of the Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA) estimated more than 2000 people attended the funeral.