The Ottawa Muslim Association will cover the funeral costs for Abdirahman Abdi, who died after a confrontation with police.
Abdi’s family, who had opened a GoFundMe page to cover funeral costs, said they would now be fundraising to cover their legal bills.
Police were responding to multiple 911 calls on Sunday regarding “multiple assaults” at a local business, confirmed by other sources to be a cafe. After trying to make an arrest, officers chased Abdi on foot.
Abdi, who is Somali-Canadian, was taken down by police officers and later rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims is calling for a swift and open investigation into whether racism played a role in his death. The province’s Special Investigations Unit has been called in.
Ottawa Police Association president Matt Skof says it’s inappropriate to imply race played a role in the incident involving the 37-year-old man. He says that officers were responding to an assault-related call from the public, which is their job.
With files from The Canadian Press