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.
Social media erupted, with the Twitter hashtags #JusticeForAbdi and #AbdirahmanAbdi immediately trending. #JusticeForAbdi was the #2 trending topic on Twitter Canada by Monday evening.
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.
Meanwhile, Abdi’s family has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover funeral costs.