News Brief

Officer Charged With Manslaughter In Death of Somali-Canadian Man, Abdirahman Abdi

One of officers involved in the brutal arrest and subsequent death of 37-year-old Abdirahman Abdi, last year, will be charged with manslaughter.

One of the two officers involved in the brutal arrest and subsequent death of 37-year-old Abdirahman Abdi, will be charged with manslaughter, Ottawa Citizen reports.

A number of videos circulated last July showing Abdi—who was believed to be suffering from a mental breakdown—handcuffed and faced-down on the ground, in a pool of his own blood for over 10 minutes before he was given proper medical attention. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition after an attempted arrest, and died the next day from his injuries.

“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,”said his brother Abdirizaq Abdi at the time of the assault.

Canada's Special Investigations Unit is expected to charge Officer Daniel Montsion with manslaughter, while the other officer involved Dave Weir, has simply been designated as a "witness officer" in the investigation.

Though we're remaining hopeful that at least some justice will be served with the charges being brought against Montsion, we've seen too many police officers take the lives of innocent black people with impunity—even when caught on tape.

Abdi's death last year, came right on the heels of the tragic police killings of Alton SterlingPhilando Castile.The nature of his death, shed light on issues of police misconduct in Canada, and fueled the country's Black Lives Matter movement.

With situations like these, as well as last month's police assault on a 22-year-old French youth worker, Theo, we're reminded more and more that police brutality against black people is a universal issue that will require widespread action to dismantle.

Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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