News Brief

Somali-Canadian Man Dies from Severe Injuries Inflicted During Arrest By Police

Think Canada offers a sanctuary from anti-blackness and police brutality? Think again.

UPDATE: CBC News reports that Abdirahman Abdi has died from his injuries, according to his family. Ontario's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, has confirmed Abdi's death. A family representative says the hospital waited 45 minutes before informing Abdi's family that he had died.


For those of you who have been swearing up and down that you’re moving to Canada if Donald Trump becomes the next U.S. President—wait, not so fast.

A 37-year-old Somali-Canadian man with a “mental capacity issue” has been taken to the hospital in critical condition Sunday following an attempted arrest, Ottawa Citizen reports.

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit, a civilian oversight body that probes a death, serious injury or an allegation of sexual assault involving police, is investigating as Abdirahman Abdi remains in critical condition Monday.

Sunday morning, police were called after reports of groping at a coffee shop. When the two police officers confronted Abdi, it’s alleged he led them on a foot chase and “at some point during the confrontation, [he] suffered medical distress” and was taken to The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus. However, witnesses say Abdi was pepper-sprayed and brutally beaten with a baton by the police officers.

"I heard the screaming, and then I come out and I see my brother lying down, police hitting so badly. Like, I've never seen something like that in my life,"Abdirizaq Abdi, the assaulted man’s brother, says, according to CBC News.

Sound familiar? It’s very similar to the instance of police brutality in France that sparked several days of riots north of Paris last week—police claimed Adama Traore, a 24-year-old black Muslim man, suddenly died from “a serious infection” while they arrested him.

The tragic situation involving Abdi comes as Black Lives Matter has gained traction in Canada too, especially in light of outrage over recent police killings in the U.S. of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile as well as last week’s shooting of Charles Kinsey, who had his hands up and was providing assistance to an autistic man.

For example, Black Lives Matter Toronto called out anti-black racism in the LGBTQ community. BLMTO staged a sit-in during Toronto’s Pride Parade on July 3, bringing it to standstill. The organizers refused to cease until the Pride Toronto representatives agreed to sign a letter of demands, which included the the banning of police floats from future parades.

“The presence of police might make some of y’all safe,” Rodney Diverlus, BLMTO co-founder who identifies as queer, says through a megaphone. “But it makes a whole lot of people in our community unsafe. And if you’re down for an inclusive Pride, you are down for a police-free Pride.”

The executive director of Pride Toronto Mathieu Chantelois eventually signed off on BLMTO's demands, so the parade could resume, but the onslaught of racist vitriol and death threats that the chapter received following their act of civil disobedience is appalling, and reinforces the necessity of the black lives matter rallying cry.

These events suggest Canada is not a sanctuary from police brutality or anti-blackness, as some may like to believe. They are part and parcel of white supremacy, a global system that we live in.

If you can stomach another video illustrating police brutality, see below.

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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