Hard Knuckle – tactical gloves, such as the one pictured above, are available in many different styles online or in-store. However, there has been minimal discussion about whether such tacticalgloves are considered or should be considered weapons. The gloves have a piece of carbon fibre in the shape of a knuckle, perfectly in alignment with shape of the hand it fits. Carbon fibre is feather light but surprisingly hard and strong, hence the reason why it is used in Formula One Cars’ frames.
The Criminal Code of Canada, in section 2, has a broad definition for weapon and it means anything used, designed to be used or intended for use:
(a) in causing death or injury to any person, or
(b) for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person.
Moreover, Brass knuckles are specifically prohibited under Part 3 of the Schedule, Prohibited Weapons, No. 8 (13) as well as Under the Ontario Prohibited Weapons Order in Ontario No.8 SOR/79-583. Brass knuckle can cause significant laceration to a victim but equally inflict pain upon the bearer or the user. Hard knuckle gloves, on the other hand, can cause equal or at least similar infliction of damage upon the recipient of force, but without any or with minimal pain to the person wearing the gloves. Therefore, the person wearing hard knuckle gloves can punch the victim repeatedly without suffering much pain themselves. It goes without mentioning that using bare hands to punch someone repeatedly usually results in the perpetrator suffering significant damage to their own hands.
A picture of Officer Montsion, shot by a witness at the scene, wearing Oakley SI Assault Glove Hard Knuckle, available online at many different websites for approximately $ 100.
Then, it should not be surprising to see that the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), on March 05, 2017, has charged an officer from Ottawa Police with Manslaughter, Aggravated Assault and an Assault with a weapon due to the result of an incident that took place on the morning of July 24, 2016. Officer Daniel Montsion, a member of Ottawa Police Direct Action Response Team (DART) was responding to a 911 call and was supposedly assisting fellow officer subdue Abdirahman Abdi, the victim with mental health issues, who had been reported for causing disturbances at a coffee shop near-by.
An eyewitness’s accounts of events suggests that while the first officer was using a baton to subdue Abdi, Montsion “….jumped into the altercation and administered a number of very heavy blows to the head and face and neck of Mr. Abdi”. Paramedics arrived at the scene after approximately 15 minutes, performed CPR and eventually transported Mr. Abdi to the hospital, but he was already dead by then.
The tactical gloves had been issued by DART and it seems that since Montsion punched Abdi several time without using any other weapons, the SIU’s decision to charge him assault with a weapon is related to the use of hard knuckle – tactical gloves. The decision seems a correct one as even without the gloves, considering the size of his bicep and forearm, Officer Montsion could have inflicted severe damage, however, with the use of a piece of carbon fibre forged in the shaped of a knuckle that sits perfectly atop the knuckle of the glove wearer cannot be anything less than a weapon. It must also be noted that such gloves are widely used by different Police Forces across Ontario, including Toronto Police. Moreover, even where such tactical gloves are not provided by the Police Force itself, officers can personally purchase and use them without any obligation to report such usage.