Community stands together three months after death of Abdirahman Abdi
Published Sunday, October 16, 2016 6:17PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, October 16, 2016 6:21PM EDT
Hintonburg residents gathered in Somerset Square on Sunday to remember Abdirahman Abdi. The Somali-Canadian man died three months ago after an altercation with Ottawa Police on July 24, 2016.
Councillor Jeff Leiper said the event called ‘Standing Together’ is meant to encourage community building for the residents of Hintonburg, who were affected by Abdi’s death. The day included a barbeque, painting station, speeches and more.
A member of the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition said while the family is awaiting the findings from the Special Investigations Unit into Abdi's death, they encourage events like this to bring closure to the community.
“What they would like is for people to realize that unfortunate things happen, but the key strength in a community is that we have to continue to move forward and together past these events,” said Farhia Ahmed.
One of the people speaking at the event was defence lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, who told the crowd that the SIU investigation could take months and to be patient.
A family friend, Ifrah Yusuf, said it has been emotional for everyone involved and hopes that day comes soon.
“It was very hard to see the pain of the neighbours, of the family, and myself, I felt the pain of him losing his life like this, it was very heartbreaking,” she said.
A team who is conducting an independent police oversight review in Ontario will be in Ottawa on October 24th. Members are scheduled to meet privately with the Somali community on the following day.