Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau says on-duty officers should not wear wristbands showing support for one of their colleagues charged with manslaughter in the death of Abdirahman Abdi.
Ottawa Police Service members and their supporters have purchased hundreds of wristbands showing solidarity with Const. Daniel Montsion.
About 1,200 of the black and blue, silicone wristbands were purchased. They bear the words “united we stand” on the outside and “divided we fall” on the inside, along with Montsion’s badge number — 1998.
The bands were ordered by officers and have been sold for $2 each. They were advertised on a Facebook site accessible only to members, under the heading: “In support of Cst Dan Montsion.”
‘A great deal of negative commentary’
In an email to staff sent Wednesday after CBC News brought the wristbands to light, Bordeleau wrote that “community perceptions” must be taken into account.
“We are all aware of wristbands that are being sold to show support for Montsion as he goes through the court process. I understand that sentiment. As we would for any member going through this type of process, the executive, the chain of command and his association have already put supports in place. Those supports will remain in place,” the statement from Bordeleau reads.
“We must take into account the community perceptions of actions like these wristbands. There has already been a great deal of negative commentary and we should all be concerned about the long-term impact on public trust this could create. I am also concerned about how it may impact members during the course of their duties.
“I want to remind you that they are not part of the Ottawa Police Service uniform and should not be worn during working hours.”