Justice for Abdirahman Coalition Statement on SIU Charges in Death of Abdirahman Abdi
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(OTTAWA, ON – March 07, 2017)
The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition welcomes the decision by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to lay charges against Constable Daniel Montsion in the death of Abdirahman Abdi. These charges send a strong message that the vicious acts of Montsion are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The brutal manner in which Abdirahman was killed was a shock to our city. The fact that it happened at the hands of someone we have entrusted to uphold the law is what made it even more shocking. Abdirahman was not armed, and had no violent or criminal history. More importantly, he posed no threat to the officer who took his life. On that fateful day, because officer Montsion decided to be judge, jury and executioner, the Abdi family lost a beloved member of their family, and many in this city had their confidence and trust in our police force shattered.
While this decision by the SIU is an important milestone in the case, it is far from where the journey ends. The end is justice for the Abdi family, and the accountability of the man responsible for taking their son’s life. We call for swift prosecution of the accused without further delay. Justice delayed is justice denied.
We acknowledge Chief Bordeleau’s decision to suspend Montsion. We are encouraged by this step and we know that much more can be done. We call for a complete and thorough review of OPS policy regarding the use of force, as well as ensuring that every frontline officer has the proper training for dealing with situations involving mental distress. Most importantly, it is now time for OPS and the City to make good on the promises made over the past few months, and to take the necessary and concrete steps to rebuild trust.
Finally, we want to thank all those who have shown their support to the Abdi family over these past months. Your efforts were not in vain. The tremendous outpouring of compassion has helped lift their spirits, and reminded us all the goodwill of ordinary Canadians. More importantly, because of this support, the Abdi family knows that many people, from all walks of life, are standing with them in solidarity as they pursue justice for their son. This case should never be interpreted as a choice between who is on the side of the police or on the side of the victim’s family. It is ultimately a question of who is on the side of justice, fairness, and the rule of law. When it comes to such fundamental matters as justice and fairness in society, we as individuals must always be on the right side.
Justice for Abdirahman Coalition
Justice for Abdirahman Coalition is a group based in Ottawa nd supported by local and national advocacy groups. The objective of the Coalition’s campaign is to obtain greater transparency, challenge racial inequity, and bring positive change in order to secure justice for the late Abdirahman Abdi and his family. For any media inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org