Ottawa police officer to be charged in death of Somali-Canadian man in 2016

WATCH: Video shows aftermath of Abdirahman Abdi police confrontation

OTTAWA – An Ottawa police constable is facing criminal charges in the death of a Somali-Canadian man during a confrontation last summer with police.

Lawrence Greenspon, the lawyer for Abdirahman Abdi‘s family, says Const. Daniel Montsion is to be charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in the death of Abdi in July 2016.

Monstion is set to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa on Mar. 29.

WATCH: Questions about police use of force follow death of Abdirahman Abdi

Montsion was one of two officers involved in an altercation in Ottawa with Abdi, a 37-year-old man who lost vital signs during the confrontation before being pronounced dead in hospital the following afternoon.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) – an oversight body that investigates deaths, serious injuries and sexual assaults involving police in the province – was expected to lay the charges later today.

READ MORE: Pleas for better police training blend with tears at funeral of Abdirahman Abdi

The confrontation with Abdi took place early on Sunday, July 24 shortly after police were called to a coffee shop in response to reports of a man causing a disturbance.

Police caught up to Abdi a few blocks away outside his apartment building, where cellphone videos showed the man lying on his stomach, handcuffed, while two constables held him down.

READ MORE: Abdirahman Abdi depressed, unemployed before confrontation with Ottawa police: former boss

Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau declined to comment on the details of the SIU investigations, and urged respect for the judicial process.

“What I can say is that the officer involved, like any member of the community going through a similar process, deserves to be treated fairly,” Bordeleau said in a statement.

“Mr. Abdi’s death has also been difficult for the membership of our police service,” he added.

— With files from Rahul Kalvapalle

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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