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Black Lives Matter- Toronto protest blocks busy downtown intersection

Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Monday, August 15, 2016 9:27AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 15, 2016 10:12AM EDT

Black Lives Matter- Toronto blocked off the intersection of Yonge and Dundas streets this morning to protest the death of an Ottawa man killed after a confrontation with police last month.

The intersection was filled with protesters holding signs calling for justice for the man, identified as 37-year-old Abdirahman Abdi.

Speaking to CP24 Monday, Hashim Yussuf, one of the organizers of the protest, said the group wants the officers involved in Abdi’s death to be charged.

Abdi died following what witnesses described as a violent arrest in Ottawa on July 24 and the SIU, the province’s police watchdog, is now investigating.

“We are calling for the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins to start an investigation into how the Ottawa hospitals and the Ottawa paramedics collaborated with the Special Investigations Unit and with the Ottawa Police to withhold information about Abdirahman Abdi’s time of death,” Yussuf added.

The group is also calling for an overhaul of the province’s Special Investigations Unit.

“We’ve been mobilizing, agitating our community for almost two years now. We’ve seen so many people die by the guns of police,” Black Lives Matter co-founder Yusra Khogali told CP24.

“There is no police accountability when it comes to their death so we are going to continue disrupting space until we see action being taken. We are not going to stop until we see an overhaul of the SIU. The Special Investigations Unit is supposed to be an impartial civilian board that is supposed to work to investigate police interactions with the public but what it actually does is protect police officers.”

The intersection reopened at around 9:30 a.m.

-With files from The Canadian Press

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