Charges against OPP officer after death of Oneida woman are dropped
Charges against an OPP officer following the death of Debra Chrisjohn have been withdrawn.
Chrisjohn, 39, of Oneida Nation of the Thames First Nation, died after she went into medical distress while in Elgin OPP custody in 2016. She was rushed to the hospital but died shortly after.
As a result of an SIU investigation, OPP Const. Mark McKillop and London Police Const. Nicholas Doering were charged with count of criminal negligence causing death and one count of failing to provide the necessaries of life.
Both charges against McKillop were withdrawn Monday. Charges against Doering will proceed.
Officers were called to to the area Trafalgar Street and Highbury Avenue on Sept. 7, 2016.
Chrisjohn was arrested by police and was transferred to Elgin County OPP on an outstanding warrant.
At 7:52 p.m., OPP officers transported Chrisjohn to a St. Thomas hospital where she was pronounced dead at 8:43 p.m.
Chrisjohn’s sisters are expressing anger at the news.
In a statement through Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto, Brittany and Ruby Chrisjohn said they are upset that Const. McKillop will no longer be required to answer for his actions in the criminal justice system.
“The decision by the Crown “… is hard for the family to understand,” said Brittany. “We hope that everyone who played a role will be held accountable.”
Aboriginal Legal Services said Chrisjohn was arrested by Doering for obstructing traffic before being transferred to McKillop on an outstanding warrant related to a shoplifting charge.
“Without knowing the specific details surrounding the death of Debra, it is difficult for the family to assess the decision by the Office of the Crown Attorney,” said Caitlyn Kasper, lawyer at Aboriginal Legal Services and counsel for the family.
“However, we know that as this active prosecution moves towards preliminary inquiry or trial, more details will emerge.”
Kasper is asking OPP to review McKillop’s action to determine if there were breaches of the Police Services Act.
Ruby Chrisjohn called her sister a beautiful person and her best friend. "Her life ended far too soon."