Ottawa’s police chief said he was caught off guard by news that Ontario’s Community Safety minister wants to see an internal audit of all gloves worn by the force’s officers, even though the province doesn’t currently regulate such equipment.
“Let’s be clear that gloves, boots, clothes — they’re not weapons. It’s in the manner that they can potentially be used,” Bordeleau said Monday. “Gloves are not part of any listed equipment that the ministry regulates, nor are boots, nor are pants.”
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Marie-France Lalonde told CBC News she’s requesting the results of Bordeleau’s audit, and would like to see other police forces across the province to follow his lead.
But Bordeleau said Monday he was never contacted by Lalonde or her ministry.
“If the ministry wishes to have a copy of the audit they can make that request to me directly, at which time it will be assessed,” Bordeleau said in an email to CBC News.
Gloves at centre of death investigation
Bordeleau ordered the audit last week after a CBC News investigation found reinforced gloves worn by the officer charged in the death of Abdirahman Abdi are being considered a weapon by Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigation Unit (SIU).
On July 24, 2016, Abdi lost vital signs during a confrontation with Const. Daniel Montsion and another officer as they attempted to arrest him for allegedly groping people inside a coffee shop. Abdi was pronounced dead in hospital the following day.
Earlier this month, the SIU charged Montsion with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in connection to Abdi’s death.