‘Ottawa’ Officer Profiles: Const. Daniel Montsion, Const. Dave Weir
The two Ottawa Police Services officers originally named as “subject officers” in the SIU probe were identified as Const. Daniel Montsion and Const. Dave Weir.
Montsion was facing charges Monday for his role in the arrest and subsequent death of 37-year-old Somali-Canadian Abdirahman Abdi, while it was revealed that Weir is now being treated as a witness.
Both officers can be seen in widely circulated videos of Abdi’s arrest.
Sources have said both are experienced officers, well respected by their peers, and neither has any prior discipline on record, according to Citizen archives of police disciplinary hearings.
Weir is a patrol officer who responded to the initial call about a disturbance at a Hintonburg coffee shop. Montsion is an anti-gang officer on the Direct Action Response Team (DART) who also responded to the July 24 call, arriving at 55 Hilda Street in his cruiser as other officers subdued Abdi.
Montsion had a previous altercation during the violent takedown of another Somali-Canadian man during a 2014 police raid. Abdullah Adoyta, 25, was acquitted on gun charges after a judge expressed concerns about the reliability of Montsion’s sworn testimony.
Montsion testified he grabbed Adoyta after seeing the suspect reach for his waist and “sort of panicked” when, he claimed, he saw the grip of a silver semi-automatic handgun, and started kneeing Adoyta and took him to the ground.
Justice Marc Labrosse ruled that the officer’s version of events conflicted with Adoyta’s account, and with a senior officer’s testimony on key points.
The judge found the officer’s testimony “difficult to both understand and accept” and acquitted Adoyta, who denied the gun was his, denied resisting arrest, and testified Montsion started punching and kneeing him.
In 2008, Montsion was commended for volunteering while enrolled in police college 514 hours with other police recruits to help a women’s charity.
Montsion has made the province’s so-called Sunshine List — of public employees making more than $100,000 salary — since 2012. He earned $158,678 in 2015, the last publicly reported period.
In 2013, Weir received a commendation from his supervisor for demonstrating skill, good judgment and dedication and a high standard of police conduct or humanitarianism.
A 2005 letter of commendation from staff at a downtown homeless shelter named several officers, including Weir. A staff member wrote that they had gratitude and respect for “those officers who are assigned to deal with the many different kinds of possible volatile and sensitive issues arising from dealing with the homeless population,” a population that includes people with mental illness.
“I think that they are so criticized so much at times by people who don’t understand the situations that these devoted officers have to deal with day in day out,” the commendation letter reads.