The civilian assigned to vet potential Ottawa police officers has resigned, after the results of her background check on a Somali candidate were ignored.
On the same day Abdirahman Abdi was pronounced dead, Ottawa police moved to hire a Somali-Canadian man who had failed a background check, prompting the civilian investigator in charge of vetting officers to resign, Postmedia has learned.
On July 25, just after 3 p.m. Abdi, 37, was pronounced dead in hospital after being arrested by police the day before on the steps of his Hilda Street apartment building. On the same day as his death, the decision was made to offer a job to an applicant.
In a letter of resignation, obtained by the Postmedia, sent by civilian background investigator Christina Benson, Benson alleged the applicant was an “unsuitable” police candidate and that his hiring “is being done for political reasons to appease the Somali community.”
Chief Charles Bordeleau told the Postmedia he approved the hiring of 19 new officers during a previously scheduled meeting on July 26. The Postmedia has learned that the approved list of candidates sent by the recruiting section did not initially include the applicant. All police candidates are presented to the chief, who is responsible for signing off on their hiring.
Christina Benson, who sacrificed her livelihood in the name of public service, should be commended.
RELATED: In this video, a neighbour of Abdirahman Abdi describes the scene: