The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition is asking for answers after what they say was preferential treatment given to an officer charged with manslaughter.
Const. Daniel Montsion has been charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in the death of Hintonburg man Abdirahman Abdi in July 2016.
In a news release, the coalition — which was formed in the days after Abdi’s death aims to increase transparency in the case, challenge racial inequity and increase support for mental health needs, as well as bring change to police services — points to Montsion’s scheduled court appearance for March 6, when he was deemed a “no-show” for his bail hearing and when he was released from the police station when charges were laid.
“It is disturbing that the very institution mandated to prosecute in this case is turning a blind eye to preferential treatment being afforded to an officer charged with manslaughter,” said Farhia Ahmed, co-chair of the coalition, in the release.
“The simple fact that there was no straight answer for basic questions like who authorized his release, from where and when is disappointing and unacceptable.”
The statement goes on to say, “The unprecedented preferential treatment Montsion has received not only adds insult to injury, but sends the wrong message to all Canadians.
“It tells them that unlike everyone else, a different set of rules apply to those in positions of privilege and power when they are accused of wrongdoing.”
The group is calling on the Attorney General of Ontario, Yasir Naqvi, to provide clarity on three questions.
• If police are not above the law, why was this officer, who was charged with serious crimes, granted preferential treatment through his release before a bail hearing?
• Why hasn’t the Attorney General of Ontario been forthcoming with information concerning Montsion’s release?
• How will the Attorney General of Ontario ensure the integrity of process in this case going forward?
Montsion's next court appearance is scheduled for March 29.