Desmond Cole: Police Accountability and Abdirahman Abdi


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So episode 46 - a new record. But you know that right? Because you subscribe to the show on iTunes and have already rated and reviewed the podcast- right?

Desmond Cole!

The man needs no introduction - journalist, social activist, and civil rights crusader.

Desmond Cole, author of the Toronto Life cover story “The Skin I’m In” about police discrimination against black men won the National Magazine Award's Gold medal for Best New Magazine Writer. Desmond has a bi-weekly column in the Toronto Star and a weekly radio show on News Talk 1010. And he was also the inaugural co-host CanadaLand Commons......

So in the wake of yet another high profile death of a black man at the hands of the police - this time in Ottawa - we sat down to talk with Desmond about police accountability and transparency.

In late July Abdirahman Abdi died in police custody. According to eye witnesses Ottawa police officers beat a hand cuffed Abdi and stood by as he died face down in a pool of his own blood. The police did not administer CPR - instead they tried to confiscate cell phones from bystanders who were taking video.

Abdi was unaramed.

He was also black.

Ottawa's mayor Jim Watson remaned silent for 48 hours (he was on vacation). And since then the mayor has attracted justifiable criticism for backing the police and shouting down those who demand increased police accountability and transparency.

Last week, on twitter, mayor Watson blocked Desmond Cole for this:

@HassanHusseini2 @OttawaPolice @JODYMITIC so you are judge and jury and have all the facts? Let's the independent review do its work

— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) August 25, 2016

No Jim, the police acted as judge and jury. Now you're providing cover for their crimes. #JusticeForAbdirahman

— Desmond Cole (@DesmondCole) August 25, 2016

Watson said Cole has called him name. That was a lie. Strangely I have called Watson names but only after he says stuff like this:

@mspratt so you agree with these outrageous & inflammatory statements? So much for innocent until proven guilty. Feel sorry for your clients

— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) August 26, 2016

So there was lots to talk about.

We also have some new art - it is still new because it is way easier to just copy and past this section each week - from an awesome young designer Parker Mazerolle - serious he is crazy good - go check out his work.

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Emilie Taman on Twitter: @EmilieTaman

Michael Spratt on Twitter: @mspratt

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