Statement to the Ottawa Police Services Board by Chief Charles Bordeleau on July 25th
(Ottawa) – Note: This statement was made prior to Abdirahman Abdi’s passing yesterday afternoon. Chief Bordeleau has expressed his condolences for the family.
We are all aware of the incident in Hintonburg on Sunday that resulted in one man in hospital.As a police service, and as Chief, we are not allowed to speak to an investigation after the SIU has invoked its mandate and that includes the Board.
This can be very frustrating for all of us.
What I can tell you is that patrol officers were called to a Hintonburg business on Sunday morning for a disturbance. Multiple callers called police reporting multiple assaults. The situation was on-going as officers arrived on scene.
Officers attempted to make an arrest and then engaged in a foot pursuit.
The events leading up to those 911 calls are now under investigation by our service.
The investigation into what happened after our officers arrived on scene is being conducted by the SIU. I can’t speak to that investigation.
These types of situations are very difficult for everyone involved and that includes members of our police service and the community.
We understand and sympathize with the family and friends of this individual.
I look to the SIU to provide the answers everyone is looking for as soon as they can.
We are well aware of the context within which we police. Our officers are professional and they are dedicated to protecting the community they serve.
They have a difficult job to do.
I, along with the Executive, support them. That support includes making sure that our relationships with our communities we serve are strong and that our members have the training they need in techniques like de-escalation, dealing with people with mental health issues and fair and impartial policing.
We’ve also actively engaged with identified community leaders in the Somali community and with OCISO to ensure that we have an open dialogue between the Ottawa Police Service and our community and that also involves working with COMPAC our working committee that does amazing work in our community to ensure that relationship of trust in these times isn’t impacted.
I know that this does not answer all the questions people have but it is the best I can offer at this time.