This Canadian Man With Mental Illness Has Died After a Violent Arrest

This Canadian Man With Mental Illness Has Died After a Violent Arrest

Here’s what his family has to say.

Published July 26, 2016

On Sunday, Abdirahman Abdi was arrested in Ottawa, Canada. During the arrest, the 37-year-old Somali-Canadian sustained critical injuries that caused him to be hospitalized. Unfortunately, his family confirmed that on Monday, he died from his injuries.

Police were called to a coffee shop in downtown Ottawa after customers claimed there was a man inappropriately groping strangers. Once police arrived, they saw Abdi and a physical confrontation occurred.

Abdi’s brother came to the scene when a neighbor told him that his brother was being arrested.

"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," Abdi said.

The family of Abdi claims that he had issues with mental health, and they strongly believe this ordeal should have been handled differently. The Ottawa Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has now opened up an investigation surrounding the police officers involved.

Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said, "It is very difficult to the family, the community and our officers. We need to let the SIU do their investigation and determine exactly what took place, but we've reached out to the family through the SIU to [offer our] support."

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo from top: AndreyPopov/Getty Images,


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