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Crown says Montsion’s trial is about ‘an arrest gone bad.’

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Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa


Published Monday, February 4, 2019 5:33PM EST


Last Updated Monday, February 4, 2019 5:39PM EST

An arrest gone bad. That’s how the Crown described its case today in the manslaughter and assault trial of Ottawa Police Constable Daniel Montsion. The Crown says it will present evidence to show that Abdirahman Abdi’s cardiac arrest could have been triggered by the injuries he sustained. Constable Daniel Montsion pleaded not guilty today to these 3 serious charges facing him.  Two and a half years since Abdi’s death, both Montsion and Abdi’s family will finally have their day in court.

Cst. Daniel Montsion arrived at the Ottawa courthouse flanked by the president of the Police Association Matt Skof.  Montsion declined to say anything as he entered the courthouse for the start of his three month trial on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. 

That weapon is alleged to be knuckle plated assault gloves that the Crown says will show may have contributed to Abdi’s death. 

In outlining his case, Crown prosecutor Philip Perlmutter said, “(Abdi) had pre-existing heart disease. Injuries he sustained,” Permutter said, “could have been sufficient to trigger a cardiac arrest.”

37-year-old Abidraham Abdi died outside the building where he lived, after a violent confrontation with police. He had been fleeing from them.

The Crown says its evidence will rely heavily on CCTV footage

“…showing Abdi’s compliance,” the Crown told court, “and how (Montsion) exited his vehicle and immediately struck Abdi with a closed fist, with knuckle-plated assault gloves.”

“Montsion’s trial is scheduled to last into the first week of May and will hear from dozens of witnesses who saw Abdi in the Bridgehead coffee shop on the morning he died and from those who videotaped the incident outside his building.

Perlmutter told court that witnesses from Bridgehead,  

“…will describe Abdi’s strange behavior which made is necessary to eject him and lock the door.”

Abdi’s family, who attended court, couldn’t actually stay in the courtroom since many of them will also be called as witnesses.

“It is quite an intense process for them,” says Farhia Ahmed with the Justice for Abdirahmin Coalition, “so it is both a relief not to sit through a lot of what we’ve been hearing today and reliving the accounts on that fateful day in July.”

The Crown’s first witness was a forensic investigator with the Special Investigations Unit who collected evidence at the scene where Abdi died, including a 30-pound rubber highway weight.  Court has yet to learn its significance.

 

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‘Too soon to celebrate’ Ottawa’s low case count, says Etches

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Ottawa Public Health (OPH) logged just 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the lowest daily total since Sept. 1.

Because of the lag between testing and reporting, the low number could simply reflect low turnout at the city’s testing sites on weekends — all month, new case counts have been lower on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

During a virtual news conference Tuesday, the city’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said she doesn’t read too much into a single day’s report.

“I don’t think we can make too much of 11. Actually, it could be a lot higher tomorrow — I would expect that, on average,” she said. “It’s too soon to celebrate.”

Provincewide, public health officials reported 1, 249 new cases Tuesday.

OPH also declared 62 cases resolved Tuesday, lowering the number of known active cases in the city to 462. Two more people have died, both in care homes currently experiencing outbreaks, raising the city’s COVID-19 death toll to 361. 

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Santa Claus isn’t coming to Ottawa’s major malls this year

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Santa Claus may still be coming to town this Christmas, but he won’t be dropping by any of Ottawa’s major malls, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Cadillac Fairview said Santa won’t be making an appearance at any of its 19 malls across Canada, including Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa. On Tuesday, Bayshore and St. Laurent shopping centres confirmed they, too, are scrapping the annual tradition.

“Due to the evolution of the situation in regards to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Santa Program and Gift Wrap Program this year,” Bayshore spokesperson Sara Macdonald wrote in an email to CBC.

Macdonald said parent company Ivanhoé Cambridge cancelled all holiday activities “due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.”

Macdonald said families that had already booked an appointment to visit Santa will receive an email with more information.  

Virtual visits with Santa

Rideau Centre said based on customer research and discussions with public health officials, its North Pole is going online this year.

“Children will be able to have a private chat with Santa,” said Craig Flannagan, vice-president of marketing for Cadillac Fairview. “You’ll also be able to join a 15-minute storytime with Santa over Facebook Live.” 

At Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre, visitors are invited to take a “selfie with Santa” — actually, a life-size cutout of Santa Pierre, the man who’s been playing Santa at the east end mall for years.

“We understand that this is not ideal, but in lieu of this tradition we will be doing what we can to maintain and encourage holiday cheer,” according to a statement on the mall’s Facebook page.

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Ottawa Bylaw breaks up two large parties in Ottawa over the weekend

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OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw is investigating social gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes across Ottawa last weekend.

Mayor Jim Watson tells Newstalk 580 CFRA that Ottawa Bylaw broke-up two house parties over the weekend, with 20 to 25 people at each party.

“That’s the kind of stupidity that angers me, that’s where the bulk of the transmissions are taking place, if we exclude the tragedy of the long-term care homes; it’s these house parties with unrelated people,” said Watson on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts.

“The message doesn’t seem to be getting through, particularly to some young people who think they’re invincible.”

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman says, “There are still ongoing investigations from this past weekend that could result in charges.”

Chapman says recent investigations led to two charges being issued for social gatherings of more than 10 people in a private residence in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act.

“In one case, up to 30 individuals were observed attending a house party in Ward 18 on Oct. 24,” said Chapman.

“The second charge was issued following a house party in Ward 16 on Oct. 31, where up to 16 individuals were observed to be in attendance.”

The fine is $880 for hosting an illegal gathering.

Alta Vista is Ward 18, while Ward 16 is River Ward.

Ottawa Bylaw has issued 24 charges for illegal gatherings since the start of the pandemic.

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