Montreal: Two hundred attend vigil to honour memory of Abdirahman Abdi

Montreal protesters end vigil with moment of silence for Abdirahman Abdi

People gather in Montreal, Thursday, July 28, 2016, to denounce the death of Abdirahman Abdi in Ottawa.

People gather in Montreal, Thursday, July 28, 2016, to denounce the death of Abdirahman Abdi in Ottawa. GRAHAM HUGHES / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Two hundred people attended a vigil to honour the memory of Abdirahman Abdi, the Canadian-Somali man who died in police custody in Ottawa, and shed light on police racial violence north of the border.

“Just here in Montréal-Nord and in St-Michel, you have extremely high rates of police stopping young black persons. You have the police killing of Alain Magloire, another man who was in a mental health crisis who was shot by Montreal police,” social activist Robyn Maynard said.

Maynard is a member of Montréal-Noir — a non-profit collective that aims to end police racial profiling and systemic racism — which, along with the members of Justice for the Victims of Police Killings Coalition, helped organize the vigil that turned into a march.

The event was held at Norman Bethune Square right outside Concordia Univeristy’s downtown campus and started at 6:30 p.m.

Several speakers, including members of the local Somali community, expressed their grief and hopes for a better understanding with officers of the law.

Montréal-Nord Républik social activist Will Prosper said it’s high time police forces across Canada recognized that racial bias exists within their ranks to prevent other situations like the one that happened to Abdi. (…)

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