Ottawa constable facing manslaughter charge in 2016 death of Somali Canadian man

Ottawa officer facing charges in Abdi death

OTTAWA — An Ottawa police constable is facing criminal charges in the death of a Somali-Canadian man during a confrontation last summer with police.

Lawrence Greenspon, the lawyer for Abdirahman Abdi’s family, says Const. Daniel Montsion is to be charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in the death of Abdi in July 2016.

Montsion was one of two officers involved in an altercation in Ottawa with Abdi, a 37-year-old man who lost vital signs during the confrontation before being pronounced dead in hospital the following afternoon.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit — an oversight body that investigates deaths, serious injuries and sexual assaults involving police in the province — was expected to lay the charges later today.

The confrontation with Abdi took place early on July 24 shortly after police were called to a coffee shop in response to reports of a man causing a disturbance.

Police caught up to Abdi a few blocks away outside his apartment building, where cellphone videos showed the man lying on his stomach, handcuffed, while two constables held him down.

Abdi’s death sparked multiple protests in Ottawa, as well as in Toronto and Montreal.

 

The Canadian Press