“Why didn’t police take her to the hospital” despite charges, Debra Chrisjohn’s family still has questions about her death

APTN National News

The family of Debra Chrisjohn says they still have a number of questions about her death that the police have never answered.

In a statement following the announcement that two police officers have been charged with Chrisjohn’s death by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the family said many things are still a mystery.

“Why didn’t the police take her to the hospital sooner when they knew she was sick and needed help? Asked Debra Chrisjohn’s father Robert Chrisjohn. “The police arrested her and were responsible for making sure she was okay. This happens way too often in our community.

“This happens all the time. The police don’t seem to care.”

On Thursday, the SIU announced that Ontario Provincial Police Const. Mark McKillop, and London Police Service (LPS) Const. Nicholas Doering are each facing one charge of criminal negligence causing death, and failing to provide the necessities of life.

According to the SIU and the release sent out by Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto (ALST) that is representing the Chrisjohn family, Debra Chrisjohn was in contact with police on Sept. 7, 2016 after it was reported that she was obstructing traffic.

She was arrested by Doering who learned that she had an outstanding warrant for shoplifting – but in another jurisdiction. Doering handed Debra Chrisjohn over to Mckillop at an OPP detachment.

Less than three hours after being taken into custody – Debra Chrisjohn was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“Aboriginal Legal Services has long been concerned with the relationship between Indigenous communities and the police,” ALST Lawyer Caitlyn Kasper said in the statement. “This is an important issue not just for Debra’s family, but for all Indigenous people across Ontario.”

Mckillop and Doering are scheduled to appear in court on July 31.

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