Charges dropped against 1 of 2 officers charged in Indigenous woman's death

TORONTO - Charges against one of two Ontario police officers charged in the death of a 39-year-old Indigenous woman have been dropped.

In July, Ontario's Special Investigations Unit charged Const. Mark McKillop of the Ontario Provincial Police and London, Ont., police Const. Nicholas Doering with one count each of criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

The Crown dropped the charges against McKillop on Monday, but no reasons were given as Doering's case returns to court on Dec. 6.

The SIU said both officers interacted with Debra Chrisjohn at some point between her arrest on Sept. 7, 2016, and her death later that night.

The SIU, which probes incidents involving police where someone is killed, injured or accused of sexual assault, said Doering was among those who responded to a call for a traffic obstruction on Sept. 7 in London.

Police found Chrisjohn at the scene of a traffic obstruction in London and arrested her, only to discover that she was wanted on an outstanding charge in nearby Elgin County. She was transferred from the custody of London police to the provincial force to answer the outstanding charge.

A lawyer representing Chrisjohn's family, Caitlyn Kasper, and the SIU have not released the cause of death, but Kasper has said police had enough information on hand to handle Chrisjohn's case differently.


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