Montsion’s use of force in Abdi’s arrest was appropriate and reasonable, argues defense

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Const. Daniel Montsion’s use of force in the fatal arrest of Abdirahman Abdi was appropriate, reasonable and proportionate to the situation, his defense lawyer argued in closing arguments on Monday.Montsion pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in Abdi’s death on July 24, 2016.

Montsion repeatedly punched the 37-year-old Canadian Somali on the head during an arrest outside Abdi’s Hintonburg apartment while he was wearing gloves with reinforced knuckles.

‘There is nothing gratuitous about his use of force’

Abdi suffered a heart attack and lost vital signs while handcuffed and was pronounced dead in hospital the next day.

Defense attorney Solomon Friedman argued that Montsion’s strikes to Abdi’s thighs and head were not gratuitous, but rather calibrated and “distracting” blows that were inflicted to restrain Abdi in accordance with his training. .

“The use of force by Constable Montsion, Your Honor, is surgical in that it responds directly to the situation unfolding before it and is designed to solve a specific problem – distract Mr. Abdi to the point that it can be stopped. safe, ”Friedman said during the video conference trial.

“What Agent Montsion faced at 55-year-old Hilda was not a waiting game. It was not a lull. It wasn’t a break. It was a violent and dynamic situation.

Abdirahman Abdi, 37, was a Canadian Somali who died in July 2016 after a violent confrontation with the police. (Abdi family)

Friedman argued that Montsion had a solid understanding of the situation in which he was called to help. Before arriving, radio reports reported that Abdi was violent and allegedly assaulted several women in and around a cafe.

Friedman said Montsion also knew that Abdi had fled the scene and that the gendarme. Dave Weir – who had sprayed pepper on Abdi to no avail – was tired, short of breath and needed help.

“The const. Weir could not master [Abdi]”Friedman said.

Friedman showed security footage of Abdi’s building to substantiate his claim that Abdi was actively resisting arrest and that de-escalation was impossible.

“This clear indication from the CCTV video is that contrary to the prosecution’s assertion which appears to be that Mr. Abdi is contained and passive at the moment… Constable Montsion does not enter a scene with a contained or passive person . , ” he said.

“This is not a case where de-escalation plays a role. Constable Montsion has a duty to act and he has acted. ”

The closing arguments continue, via Zoom, Tuesday and Wednesday. Closing arguments were originally scheduled to be heard in April, but proceedings were halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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