Cornwall Ontario – The tragedy that was the death of Abdirahman Abdi was something we covered when the story broke. Cases can take time, especially when it involved police officers.
Eventually Ottawa Police Service Constable Daniel Montsion was charged after an SIU investigation with Manslaughter. He was the only officer charged in the incident which was carried graphically in photos and video.
Police officers always have to be held to a higher degree of accountability. They are here to protect and serve. They are asked to carry weapons that can kill near instantly or use force at their discretion.
For a police service to work well it has to have integrity and respect from its citizens.
What happens to Mr. Montsion is of course up to the courts to decide. But oddly an awful lot of Ottawa police officers are wearing bracelets of support for him even after his charge of Manslaughter. Of course everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but the optics of this seem outrageously wrong on so many levels.
Should members of the public too wear bracelets in support of Mr. Abdi and his family who clearly not only had to endure the loss of their loved one, but graphically deal with his demise at the hands of police in their new country?
Ottawa has a crime problem, and the reality is that a lot of that crime is from visible minorities and immigrants. Could one of them see a bracelet on an officer and react in a more excited manner? Could this actually put officers in more harm’s way? The optics of the wearing of the bracelets frankly is ugly and embarrassing for the OPS, and Ottawa.
The $2 bracelets, in blue and black read:
“United we stand” and “divided we fall” and include Montsion’s badge number 1998.
The only thing we should be united over is the tragedy of this death which is an embarrassment for the Ottawa Police Service. The Abdi family and members of the public clearly should not be digesting a message that could easily be construed of supporting Cst. Montsion’s handling of this incident.
While Police Chief Bordeleau has said the bracelets should not be worn; should he have had to?
Ultimately it’s about accountability and integrity. It’s what wearing a badge ultimately means.
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