OPSB Chair Eli El-Chantiry Seeks “Correction” on Abdiraman Story – Ottawa Life Magazine Refuses
The Chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board sent a formal request today to Ottawa Life Magazine Publisher and Managing Editor Dan Donovan and Carleton University Criminology Professor Darryl Davies seeking a correction a story yesterday related to the violent killing of Abdirahman Abdi by Constable Daniel Montsion:
Good afternoon Mr. Davies and Mr. Donovan,
With regards to your article published online: http://www.ottawalife.com/article/carleton-criminology-professor-darryl-davis-accuses-attorney-general-yasir-naqvi-of-corruption-says-ottawa-police-constable-montsion-represents-thug-policing?c=13, I wish to clarify that contrary to what is written in the third paragraph, I, nor the Ottawa Police Services Board, was involved in the release of Cst. Montsion from the Kanata OPP detachment.
I would appreciate a correction.
Chair, Ottawa Police Services Board
In his response (see below) Donovan refused to change the story and called on El-Chantiry to resign saying that his conduct in the matter is a disgrace to the community, to policing and to justice.
Thank you for your email.
There is no error in the article.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, Yasir Naqvi, said in an email regarding the release of Constable Montsion, "that in this instance, the senior officer on duty at the Ottawa police station authorized the release."
Ottawa Life Magazine will be pleased to publish the documented minutes of the Ottawa Police Services Board Meeting where you discussed the Montsion case. Please send them to us and they will be published within an hour.
Specifically, please provide the OPSB minutes to us regarding any and all discussions the OPSB has had with regards to Constable Montsion, Mr. Abdirahman Abdi, the SIU probe, and his release (without appearing before a bail judge), and then we will expeditiously publish them for all to see.
Otherwise, the facts we do know to date clearly indicate that you and the Ottawa Police Services Board (OPSB) had discussions related to this matter and the investigation by the SIU. You were involved in a factual way, and also by omission. It is disingenuous, dishonest and misleading to say otherwise. As the Chair of the OPSB, you said nothing and did nothing regarding the Montsion release. Both you and the Ottawa Police Services Board concurred with the decision to give Constable Montsion special treatment when he has been charged with a violent and deadly crime against a citizen. If you did not concur, you would have said so, or released a statement. If you wish to provide a statement to clear this up, we will be pleased to publish it.
For the record, your conduct and the conduct of the Ottawa Police Services Board (OPSB) in this matter are a disgrace to the city, to responsible policing, to the citizens of Ottawa, and to justice in this province. Mr. Abdirahman Abdi is dead due to a violent and unnecessary beating by an Ottawa Police Constable. This tragic criminal death follows numerous other serious incidents over the past several years, where Ottawa Police Constables have been charged with assault, spousal abuse, driving under the influence and fraud, and not been terminated or held accountable in any serious way by you and the OPSB. You, of course, know all about this because Ottawa Life Magazine and other media outlets have been writing about this horrible police behavior since 2011.
As Chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board, you are tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the conduct of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS), ensuring that proper procedures and professional conduct are followed. You are also responsible for upholding those standards and ensuring there are consequences when they are breached. Under your tenure, police misconduct in Ottawa is at an all-time high, and both you and the board have continuously stuck your head in the sand when serious cases arise. Under your tenure as Chair, the OPSB have consistently hidden information from the public, from the media, and have held a record number of in-camera secret meetings where you have not disclosed important information from those meetings related to police misconduct, improprieties in the OPS and other matters that are in the public interest. This has resulted in a growing cynicism by the public towards the OPS and has resulted in an escalating number of bad interactions between the police and the public in this city.
Instead of retracting a truthful evidence-based statement from our article yesterday, I think the best thing to correct the situation at this point would be for you to resign from the OPSB and have a new Chair named. Hopefully, a new Chair would understand the importance of communications, transparency, and accountability wherever possible, and that the role of the OPSB is to serve the public first and not to act in a way that leaves a very strong perception that the OPSB are apologists for police misconduct.
I think you and the OPSB need to be reminded of the principle of the oft-quoted aphorism that “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done."
Publisher & Managing Editor
Ottawa Life Magazine