The Ontario Special Investigations Unit has reported Abdirahman Abdi, 37, has passed away after he was hospitalized following an altercation with Ottawa Police in Hintonberg.
Abdi, who had mental health issues, was arrested Sunday after an incident at a coffee shop. During an altercation with police he suffered a cardiac arrest. Witnesses reported seeing officers kicking and beating him with their batons.
The SIU launched an investigation and two officers were named as subjects to the probe. Five other officers were interviewed as witnesses.
On Monday afternoon it was reported Abdi had died of his injuries.
SIU can confirm the 37-yr-old man in Hilda St incident in Ottawa has now died.
— SIU (@SIUOntario) July 25, 2016
Abdirahman Abdi passes: https://t.co/xtorvpDQ2q
— Jeff Leiper (@JLeiper) July 25, 2016
Social media erupted, with the Twitter hashtags #JusticeForAbdi and #AbdirahmanAbdi immediately trending. #JusticeForAbdi was the #2 trending topic on Twitter Canada by Monday evening.
— Trendsmap Ottawa (@TrendsOttawa) July 25, 2016
— Kimberley Molina (@KimberleyMolina) July 25, 2016
tell me again that police brutality isn't real..#JusticeForAbdi
— Sephora (@badcardz) July 25, 2016
We need to address the issues in Canadian law enforcement, treatment of the mentally ill and the justice system. #JusticeForAbdi
— alιyaн (@ajs_boo1624) July 25, 2016
"mean while in Canada" memes don't apply anymore
— Abdi G (@Phoenix_6ix) July 25, 2016
— Holz Pham (@alcoholyli) July 25, 2016
Stop saying "I didn't know Ottawa was part of the U.S." You have to own anti-Black racism and police brutality in Canada. #JusticeForAbdi
— Desmond Cole (@DesmondCole) July 25, 2016
— filsan. (@filsannur) July 25, 2016
— Adam Gilani (@adamgilani) July 25, 2016
Beyond frustrated by the death of Abdirahman Abdi. Nothing but prayers for his family and him #JusticeForAbdi
— Murdock (@AbdiiYusuff) July 25, 2016
— jada (@jemjaya) July 25, 2016
— Dionne Francis (@DionneFrancis) July 25, 2016
— Ubax Said (@UbaxSabieh) July 25, 2016
Police officers beat a mentally ill black man to death. This was in canada, and this stuff does happen. Say his name! #JusticeForAbdi
— shay (@ajshieId) July 25, 2016
Don't let them tell you it doesn't happen here #JusticeForAbdi
— Ben Diepeveen (@BenDiepeveen) July 25, 2016
Once it became known Abdi had died, Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau offered his condolences to the family and said it was important to step back and let the SIU complete its investigation.
Before the news broke, Bordeleau told media he stands by his officers. He said those involved immediately administered CPR and called paramedics after Abdi showed signs of medical distress.
On Hilda: chief says police called paramedics 23 seconds after requiring their presence #ottnews
— Shaamini Yogaretnam (@shaaminiwhy) July 25, 2016
Meanwhile, Abdi’s family has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover funeral costs.
— Desmond Cole (@DesmondCole) July 26, 2016
.@HintonburgCA residents will be gathering around 8:30 in Somerset Square park to mark Abdiraham's passing, sign a memorial book.
— Jeff Leiper (@JLeiper) July 26, 2016