Endorsement for Justice For Abdirahman Coalition's Recommendations
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As representatives from civil society, we have come together to speak with a united voice about the tragic death of a Canadian-Somali man, Abdirahman Abdi.
We believe that his death could and should have been prevented.
We believe that our society has an accountability to work together to avert such deaths from ever happening again.
We collectively call on all three levels of governments, the Ottawa Police Service, the Ottawa Police Services Board, and responsible police oversight agencies to:
1- Acknowledge that there is a crisis within the Ottawa Police Services when it comes to how authorities interact with members of racialized communities, and specifically, with those with mental health issues;
2- Strike a task force to examine this crisis, and the disproportionate number of Black men and people with mental health differences that have been killed by police, and to commit to funding relevant programs and legislating policies that address systemic problems in relation to vulnerable and racialized communities; analyze all best practices in community policing, consult with communities, and provide a comprehensive review of police services and an action plan for change, including specific timelines;
3- Respond to the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s assertion that there is “no effective mechanism to hold police accountable for systemic discrimination” and to provide a remedy for this gap;
4- Amend legislation to ensure that the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) provides its reports to the public, until such time that the system has been fully reviewed and overhauled to provide a transparent, effective, and independent civilian oversight and accountability of police;
5- Commit to reassigning police officers who are under investigation for causing death or serious injury to administrative duty, and prohibiting any form of interfacing with community members until the investigation is complete;
6- Fully implement the recommendations made by Ontario’s Ombudsman in the recent report titled “A Matter of Life and Death” and provide regular updates to communities;
7- Create consistent standards across all police services in every province with regards to training in dealing with and responding to individuals with mental health issues, as referenced in the 2013 Mental Health and Criminal Justice Policy Framework by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health;
8- Require the Special Investigation Unit, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and Statistics Canada to collect and publicly report race-based data on police encounters with civilians, including but not limited to, police use of force;
9- Create a special task force to review all Coroner’s Inquest recommendations made since 2001, and identify key recommendations which require immediate response and implementation;
10- Require all police services in every province to place body cameras, as well as cameras in police vehicles.
For a personal touch, write a letter of endorsement:
You can show your support by way of a letter of endorsement. An endorsement letter indicates your support for the Coalition’s objectives and spirit.
Please use the following guidelines to craft your own letter:
1- Indicate your Name, title (if any), organization (if any) and date at the top of the letter
2- State the reason for your endorsement (what in particular do you support and why? These can be the Coalition’s objectives or recommendations – link to Full list of Recommendations)
3- State any relevant or related work you or your organization are currently doing that align with that of the Coalition’s
4- Conclude by reiterating your support and summarizing why your support matters!
See a sample letter here: link
Please send your letter of endorsement to: firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy to:
1- Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould (email@example.com)
2- Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
3- Attorney General of Ontario and Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Centre Yasir Naqvi (email@example.com)
4- Mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
5- Chief of Police of Ottawa Police Services Charles Bordeleau(email@example.com)
6- Member of the Canadian Parliament for Ottawa Centre Catherine McKenna (firstname.lastname@example.org)
7- Chair of the Ottawa Police Board Eli El-Chantiry (email@example.com)
For more information about the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, visit our website.
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