OTTAWA – Lawyers for an Ottawa police officer charged with causing the death of a black man say his actions in the confrontation four years ago were “reasonable and proportionate.”
The defense began its final oral argument by videoconference at the trial of Constable Daniel Montsion, accused of manslaughter, aggravated assault and armed assault, in connection with the death of Abdirahman Abdi in 2016.
Mr. Montsion was one of two police officers involved in an altercation with Mr. Abdi on July 24, 2016.
Abdirahman Abdi, a 37-year-old Canadian of Somali descent, was left without vital signs during the incident and died in hospital the next day.
Defense attorney Solomon Friedman said that by the time Officer Montsion arrived on the scene that day, he had learned that the suspect had acted violently, that he had fled. and that he had been sprayed with pepper spray without any effect on him.
He claimed the policeman was “armed with a huge amount of information” and acted accordingly, in accordance with his training.
“This is not a case where de-escalation plays a role. Officer Montsion had a duty to act, and he acted, ”Friedman told the court.
Final arguments are due to be heard until Wednesday. The hearing was originally scheduled for April, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian Press