Eyewitness gives detailed account of Abdirahman Abdi's arrest
Woman's texts to friend offer timeline of events
A Crown witness testifying at the manslaughter trial of an Ottawa police officer Wednesday provided a detailed account of the arrest of Abdirahman Abdi, including the moments before and after Abdi lost vital signs outside his Hintonburg apartment building.
The testimony was particularly notable because the woman is the first eyewitness to provide testimony that wasn't found to be either inaccurate or compromised.
Sarah Clements was even able to offer a relatively accurate timeline of events based on text messages she sent while she witnessed the events unfold from her apartment window.
Clements watched as a police officer chased Abdi down Wellington Street W. toward Hilda Street around 9:46 a.m. on July 24, 2016.
'He wasn't in any way attacking'
Abdi was carrying a flat rubber weight above his head and refused to put it down despite repeated orders from the officer, Clements told the court.
"He was running away," she said. "He wasn't in any way attacking."
When Abdi and the officer turned onto Hild Street, Clements moved to another window for a better look. By then, there were two officers, she said.
In court, Clements described how Montsion punched Abdi more than once in the face.
"It was violent and it disturbed me, " Clements said. "Seeing someone get punched in the face, it was shocking to me."
Abdi 'went down hard'
At that point, Clements stopped watching to text her friend. The court has heard that after Abdi was punched, Weir pushed him to the ground.
When Clements looked up again, Abdi was face down on the ground in handcuffs.
Abdi "went down hard," she texted her friend, bolstering the defence's claim that Abdi was injured when the first officer, Const. Dave Weir, pushed him to the ground.
Under further questioning, Clements said she based that comment on the amount of blood on Abdi's face, and the fact that he wasn't moving.
Clements testified she didn't see Montsion punch Abdi while he was on the ground. She watched until Abdi was taken away in an ambulance, the court heard.
Montsion has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. His trial will continue until July 5.