SIU investigating death of man, 55, in London police custody Thursday
Ontario’s police watchdog is investigating after a 55-year-old man died in London police custody.
Officers responded to reports of an impaired driver near Wonderland and Exeter roads about 9:20 p.m. Thursday, police say.
The vehicle and driver were found in a ditch south of Harry White Drive at Wonderland, said police. Officers arrested a man and took him to police headquarters. He became unresponsive in the back of a cruiser at the cell bay area, police said.
An officer performed CPR on the man until paramedics arrived. The man was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) was notified and invoked its mandate, assigning three investigators and one forensic investigator to the case.
London police said it couldn’t provide any information about the death, directing all questions to the SIU.
This is the first case in more than two years of a death in custody involving London police.
In 2016, the SIU probed the Sept. 7, 2016 death of Debra Chrisjohn of the Oneida Nation of the Thames.
Chrisjohn, 39, had been arrested in east London by city police and turned over to Elgin County OPP on an outstanding warrant, the SIU said at the time. She was taken to St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, where she died.
The SIU charged London police Const. Nicholas Doering and OPP Const. Mark McKillop with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life. Charges against McKillop were later withdrawn.
The SIU is an arm’s-length agency that probes reports of death, serious injury or allegations of sex assault involving police.