The Province’s Special Investigations Unit has been called in after a confrontation involving police and a 37-year-old Ottawa man who has since passed away.
Police were called to the area of Wellington Street West and Fairmont Avenue around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday for reports of a man causing a “disturbance.”
SIU called to investigate arrest on Hilda Street in Ottawa. Man taken to Ottawa Civic Hospital. More details to follow.
— SIU (@SIUOntario) July 24, 2016
The man was found on scene and police said there was a confrontation outside 55 Hilda Street.
Friends of the man have talked to media in Ottawa and identified him as Abdirahman Abdi.
Police said that at some point during the confrontation that “the man suffered medical distress.”
A video posted on YouTube shows police working on a man outside a brick building, while a witness says the man was “bashed in the head with a baton.”
Warning: There is graphic language in the video below.
The man was transported to Ottawa Civic Hospital but later died as confirmed by the SIU.
SIU can confirm the 37-yr-old man in Hilda St incident in Ottawa has now died.
— SIU (@SIUOntario) July 25, 2016
The councillor for the ward, Jeff Leiper, wrote in a blog late Sunday night that he is “very disturbed” by witness accounts of how police dealt with the man.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact police.
The agency says it has since designated two subject officers and five witness officers.
The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.