Canadian police officers Dave Weir (L), and Daniel Montsion (C) are seen kneeling by Abdirahman Abdi outside his apartment building on Hilda Street, on July 24, 2016.
Public outrage in Canada over the death of a black man at the hands of police has prompted a probe into the shocking incident.
Abdirahman Abdi, a 37-year-old Somali immigrant, was arrested following a confrontation with police outside his apartment building in the Ontario’s capital city of Ottawa on Sunday morning after police were called in over reports of a disturbance near a coffee shop in the neighborhood of Hintonburg, located in the city’s west end.
Abdi, whose neighbors said suffered an unspecified mental illness, tried to make his way from the coffee shop towards his apartment, but, after a foot chase, police nabbed him face down on a pool of blood, after beating him repeatedly by a baton and spraying pepper on his eyes, while dozens of horrified bystanders watched the horrific scene.
The severely injured Muslim was then taken to the Ottawa Hospital, but he succumbed to his wounds and passed away, hours after his bloody arrest, on Monday.
A video recorded by an eye witness showed the aftermath of Abdi’s violent arrest, when he was lying face down on the ground, in a bloodied shirt, with his hands cuffed behind his back and his pants pulled down before paramedics came to the scene and began administering CPR.
Ontario's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), announced that it had launched an investigation into Abdi's death, which could take months.
Two file photos of Abdirahman Abdi
According to Canadian Broadcaster CBC News, the two Ottawa police officers, who were directly involved in Abdi’s arrest, are Const. Daniel Montsion and Const. Dave Weir.
This is while the local police chief has stood by his team saying he supports their actions.
A protesting rally over Abdi’s death and police violent handling of the incident has been planned, by human rights activists, for Wednesday in Montréal.
“This is a heartbreaking loss and our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Abdi’s family at this difficult time. Many members of the Ottawa Muslim and Somali communities have serious concerns about how this tragic incident unfolded, including whether prejudice had something to do with Mr. Abdi’s treatment,” said Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) on Tuesday.
“It is critical that a full and transparent investigation be swiftly conducted so that Mr. Abdi’s family, and the wider community, get clear answers,” he added.
It is by no means the first time Canadian police are involved in killing an immigrant. In July 2015, a Toronto police officer gunned down 45-year-old Andrew Loku, a mentally ill immigrant from South Sudan, in his apartment. The officer, however, was not charged.

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