Today 6:30pm: Montreal Demonstration & Vigil to denounce the police killing of Abdirahman Abdi in Ottawa

Attention News Editors
For immediate release

Montreal Demonstration & Vigil: Denounce the police killing of Abdirahman Abdi in Ottawa

Thursday, July 28, 6:30pm-7:30pm
at Bethune Square 
(Guy & de Maisonneuve Ouest, métro Guy-Concordia)
Co-organized by members of Montréal Noir & Justice for the Victims of Police Killings Coalition.
Endorsed by Anti-Racist Resistance Montreal (CRAM), Solidarity Across Borders, Montréal-Nord Républik, QPIRG Concordia, Collectif Québécois Contre l'Islamophobie (CQCI)

This past Sunday, Abdirahman Abdi, 37, a Black, Muslim, Somali-Canadian suffering from an unspecified mental illness, died as a result of injuries suffered from Ottawa police officers.

Abdi was brutally beaten by Ottawa police after an arrest. Video from a bystander, as well as other eye-witness accounts, corroborate that Abdi was beaten and bloodied, and handcuffed. At least 10 minutes went by before a clearly distressed and unconscious Abdi received any sort of basic medical attention. Abdi was then taken to the hospital, where doctors determined he had already been dead for 45 minutes.

According to the eye-witness account of Abdi's brother: "I heard the screaming, and then I come out and I see my brother lying down, police hitting so badly. Like, I've never seen something like that in my life. All of them, they were on top of him. He was under [them] … they were hitting like [he was] an enemy. I've never seen something like that." (source:www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/siu-investigate-hilda-street-arrest-hospital-1.3694114)

We ask all who oppose police impunity and brutality, and who support the Black Lives Matter movement, to gather together in Montreal this Thursday, July 28, as a gesture of support and solidarity with the Abdi family. It’s becoming increasingly clear how race intersects with disability rendering specific groups more vulnerable to police brutality. Police must NOT become the default responders to incidents concerning mental health.

This event is co-organized by members of Montréal-Noir and Justice for the Victims of Police Killings Coalition. 

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Media Contact: Robyn Maynard, 514-831-4723