Montsion pleads not guilty

Ottawa Police Constable Daniel Montsion pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of manslaughter in the 2016 death of Abdirahman Abdi.

Montsion ‘s trial at the Ottawa courthouse is expected to last 12 weeks by judge alone.

Abdi died during a July 2016 altercation with Ottawa Police on the steps outside his Hintonburg apartment building.

Montsion walked into court this morning accompanied by lawyer Michael Edelson and Matt Skoff , President of the Ottawa Police Association.

Const. Daniel Montsion arrives to court with his legal team. Montsion is charged with manslaughter in the death Abdirahman Abdi #ottnews @ctvottawa pic.twitter.com/7X6WO57MUq

— Stefan Oliver Keyes (@Stefan_Keyes) February 4, 2019

HAPPENING NOW: Const. Montsion just pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in the case of Abdirahman Abdi’s death. He is facing charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon #ottnews @ctvottawa #Day1

— Stefan Oliver Keyes (@Stefan_Keyes) February 4, 2019

BACKGROUND

Abdi died after what witnesses have alleged was a violent arrest outside his Hilda St. apartment building.

The case began July 24, 2016. Ottawa Police were called to a coffee shop in Hintonburg on reports of a disturbance. A witness in the coffee shop told the media at the time that a woman inside said she had been sexually assaulted.

Patrons attempted to hold Abdi until police arrived, but he fled toward Hilda St.

He was chased by the officers, eventually being pinned on the ground and arrested outside his front door.

Witnesses say Abdi was beaten during the arrest. He was officially pronounced dead in hospital the following day.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which was investigating the case, said Abdi “went into medical distress” during an “interaction” with officers before he was pronounced dead.

He was 37.

Montsion was charged by the SIU in March of 2017.

12 weeks have been set aside for the trial.