Ottawa-Vanier Liberal MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers is apologizing after a message on her Twitter account said Abdirahman Abdi had been *murdered by a careless police officer."

The tweet from Des Rosiers account was deleted Thursday morning.  A spokesperson in Des Rosiers office said her account was not hacked, and the tweet was sent by someone in the MPPs office.

"I would never have expressed myself the way the tweets were worded," said Des Rosiers. "I think it is appropriate to offer condolences to a grieving family, and we certainly want to do that but you cannot comment on an on-going judicial process. That is inappropriate."

Desrosiers Tweet

My thoughts are with Abdi's family & friends murdered by a careless police officer. Be strong! #JusticeForAbdi #StopViolence #Ottawa

After her tweet was questioned by both Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau and Ottawa Police Association President Matt Skof, a second tweet was issued on Des Rosiers' account this morning. It was also deleted several hours later.

Tweet by Nathalie Des Rosiers

Obviously the process must be respected and everyone presumed innocent until proven guilty. Always a difficult process for all concerned.


Premier Katlheen Wynne's office issued a statement from Des Rosiers just after 10 a.m. Thursday: "Despite the tweets from my account last night, I want to make it clear I had no intention of commenting on any ongoing proceedings. I have absolute respect for the integrity of our judicial process. In our society everyone is innocent until proven guilty and I apologize that the comments last night did not reflect that principle."

Abdi died after what the Special Investigations Unit called an interaction with Ottawa Police on Hilda Street on July 26, 2016. Police had responded to a call about a sexual assault at a nearby coffee shop.  The Special Investigations Unit charged Constable Daniel Montsion with one count each of manslaughter, aggravated assault, and assault with a weapon. Montsion's trial is set to begin in 2019.

Des Rosiers' tweet attracted criticism for her use of the word “murdered.”

Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau responded to the tweet, saying to respect the process.

Ottawa Police Association President Matt Skof also weighed in.

Des Rosiers is no stranger to legal matters. According to her biography on her MPP website and the University of Ottawa’s website, she was a lawyer in Montreal and London, Ontario. She was the Dean of the Civil Law Section at the University of Ottawa between 2004 and 2008, and president of the Law Commission of Canada between 2000 and 2004. She was also a law professor at Western University.

"I only found out this morning and I reached out to the Police Chief and the President of the OPA, both in Ottawa and Toronto, to reinforce the fact that these are not my views and I am committed to the presumption of innocence," she told CTV Ottawa in an interview. 

At least one person was supportive of Des Rosiers’ tweet.