The OPA (Ottawa Police Association) behind President Matt Skof, are standing in together in the SIU- Abdi case.
As we know, Const. Daniel Montsion was charged with manslaughter and now hundreds of officers are standing in unison by wearing blue wrist bands to show their solidarity.
Some 1,200 of the black and blue, silicone wristbands have been purchased, bearing the words “united we stand” on the outside and “divided we fall” on the inside, along with Montsion’s badge number — 1998.
“It’s well-supported, that’s for sure. This is just about expressing their support for a colleague. It’s a very difficult environment that we’re in, in policing.” (Matt Skof)
The Police Chief says he doesn’t want his officers wearing them while on duty.
“I want to remind you that they are not part of the Ottawa Police Service uniform and should not be worn during working hours.” (Chief Charles Bordeleau)
Chairman of Police Services Eli El Chantiry, has issued a statement and is asking for reason, but is standing behind the Chief.
The wristbands ‘have unintended consequences and are divisive.’ (Eli El Chantiry)
Abdi, 37, lost vital signs in a confrontation with Montsion and Const. Dave Weir on July 24, 2016 after complaints were called in from a local coffee shop. Abdi was allegedly hassling customers . He was pronounced dead in hospital the following afternoon.
Montsion was in court this week and his case was remanded until May. The 36 yr old had been on desk duty throughout the investigation and is now suspended with pay.
This will be a story to watch as the division between the OPA and the City & Police Management — gets wider and wider. Much wider.