Hope was 'diminished' after officer's acquittal in Abdi death: Justice for Abdirahman coalition
OTTAWA -- Some community members say they were left feeling numb following the acquittal of Ottawa Police Const. Daniel Montsion in the death of Abdirahman Abdi.
"I think the hope we have was diminished from (Tuesday's) decision," said Dahabo Ahmed Omer with the Justice for Abdirahman coalition.
The judge ruled he had reasonable doubt on all charges against Montsion. Lawyers representing the officer, who had pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon, said he was relieved by the decision.
"What about the humanity standard? What about the community standard?" asked Ahmed Omer. "What about the standard regarding relationships between communities and police services and police institutions?"
The road to repairing the fractured relationship between racialized communities and police has no easy answers, according to Warren Clarke, a sociology PhD candidate at Carleton University.
"Defunding the police is only going to lessen the serviceability to do the work they do to protect the communities," said Clarke. "Allocate money to people who have the knowledge and expertise to then add value to the fabric of policing and the policies of policing to make better outcomes for the police relations with racialized communities."
Lawrence Greenspon, the lawyer representing Abdi’s family, says their quest for justice isn’t over.
"From the family’s perspective we’re now able to move forward on the civil action and it’s really there we’re hoping that there will be some systemic change in the long term," said Greenspon.