Ottawa: Funeral Today for Somali man who died in Police Custody.

A funeral service is planned today in Ottawa for a Somali-Canadian man who died following a physical confrontation with police last Sunday.

Several dozen people gathered for a vigil in Montreal on Thursday night saying Abdi’s death highlights a widespread culture of police brutality that disproportionately victimizes people who are black or mentally ill.

The Canadian Association of Somali Lawyers, a national organization representing Somali-Canadian lawyers from across the country, has said the incident is part of a larger pattern.

Abdirahman Abdi, 37, was taken down by police officers on a sidewalk across the street following a disturbance call.

Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau said officers were responding to 911 calls Sunday regarding “multiple assaults” at a local business, and, after trying to make an arrest, officers chased Abdi on foot.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says there was a “confrontation” outside the apartment building down the street, where Abdi lived with his family, and he suffered medical distress.

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