This is a statement by Ottawa Police Services Board chairman Eli El-Chantiry following charges being laid against Const. Daniel Montsion of manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in the death of Abdirahman Abdi while in police custody last July:
The Board’s sympathies continue to rest with the family and friends of Mr. Abdi.
Regardless of the SIU’s investigation, there is no good outcome – at the end of the day a man lost his life.
What is important is how our police service continues to move forward and together with the community.
The Board appreciates all the community members and groups that have come forward to work with the police service.
The police service has also taken a number of positive steps forward to reach out to the community and rebuild trust, including engaging with community leaders in the Somali community and the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, and working with their Community-Police Action Committee.
There is still more work to be done.
This has been very difficult on the community and the police service, but there is a lot to be learned from this incident.
The Board will continue to work with the police service and the community to ensure the vision of the Ottawa Police Service – to be a trusted partner in community safety – is upheld.
Our police service is made up of dedicated and professional members who are committed to serving our community with dignity and respect. The Board has full confidence in their ability to carry out their duties in an ethical and honourable manner.
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