Verdict at Const. Montsion trial expected in October
OTTAWA -- On the final day of closing arguments in the case against Ottawa police Const. Daniel Montsion, the crown said instead of punching Abdirahman Abdi, Montsion should have de-escalated the situation.
“He could’ve pushed Mr. Abdi out of the way instead of punching him repeatedly… he could’ve used his ASP,” said crown attorney Phil Perlmutter, referring to a police issued baton.
Montsion’s defence lawyer Solomon Friedman argued the officer’s actions were justified. On July 24, 2016, officers were responding to reports of sexual assaults in the Hintonburg area with a suspect, police say, was ignoring police commands and displaying combative behaviour.
“What police officers are called upon to do is sometimes to make very difficult decisions in a very limited amount of time…they don’t have often the luxury of time because they don’t know what is going to happen while they stop,” Friedman said.
As for the defence theory that Abdi’s broken nose was caused by Constable David Wier when he jumped on Abdi’s back and not Montsion’s blows, Perlmutter says “that’s at best speculative,” adding Montsion “had to know multiple punches to the head or the face with gloves... was likely to cause gross bodily harm.”
Before the end of the crown’s closing arguments, Justice Robert Kelly asked the crown why he should accept the evidence of Constable David Weir given there had been concerns about the reliability of his testimony.
Kelly saying: “I’m not for a moment suggesting that Constable Weir’s evidence is without value but I do have to take into account these reliability issues…he just got a couple of things extremely wrong… they were significant.”
Perlmutter’s reply: “He’s remembering what’s truly important to him and what’s important to him is his life got saved.”
Montsion has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
The verdict is expected to be handed down in mid-October—an exact date will be confirmed next Friday.