Ottawa Police Officer Charged with Assault of Cabbie/CAW Member

June 25, 2009, 1:44 PM EST

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An Ottawa police officer has been charged after a 43-year-old cab driver who is a member of CAW Local 1688 was injured during a dispute in Ottawa in May.

The cab driver suffered a wrist fractured in two places and a broken finger as well as several bruises in the incident, which occurred in a parking lot of the Ottawa airport. The case was investigated by the province's Special Investigations Unit (SUI).

Ziad Adi, CAW airport unit chairman and airport taxi driver, said the membership were concerned by the incident but are satisfied that charges were laid.

"If this was swept under the rug and he was not charged, I really think it would have broken that strand of trust between not just the drivers, I think, but immigrants in Ottawa and the police," Adi told The Ottawa Citizen.

CAW national representative Mohamad Alsadi and Adi met with the Ottawa police chief. Both Adi and Alsadi said the May incident was isolated and didn't represent the relationship between taxi drivers and police.

Alsadi said taxi drivers and the police know each other and co-operate with each other on Ottawa roads each day. "We have a good relationship with police and we are not going to allow one incident to jeopardize that relationship," he said.

The CAW represents approximately 1,800 cab drivers in Ottawa.

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