Widow of Toronto police officer killed in line of duty speaks out – Toronto
Margaret Northrup is candid about life since losing her husband in the early morning hours of July 2, 2021.
“It’s been a nightmare ever since,” she tells Global News, sitting in the family room of the Brampton home she shares with her three children and three cats.
Her husband, Const. Jeff Northrup went to work the night shift on Canada Day at the Toronto Police Service’s 52 Division and the family went to bed.
“My son wakes me up at around 3:30 in the morning, my youngest. He said ‘Mom. There’s a whole bunch of police at the front door,’” she said.
“I jumped up, I threw on a little housecoat, I started walking down the stairs — didn’t even dawn on me, didn’t even think — and I see all these white police shirts and hats and hands, and I couldn’t verbalize it. My knees started shaking and all I could say was ‘oh god. oh god’.”
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Margaret said Chief Ramer sat in the living room and delivered the news to the family that Jeff had been involved in an incident and didn’t make it.
“I was in so much shock. I’ve heard of shock. I’ve treated shock as a nurse. I’ve never actually been in shock myself and that shock lasted a good four months. I did not cry for the first six hours. I went outside to my front porch and I chain smoked,” Margaret recalled.
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Northrup, 55, who had 31 years of service with the Toronto police, had been killed while investigating a stabbing at City Hall. The plainclothes officer and his partner in the major crime unit were in the underground parkade investigating the priority call when Northrup was struck and killed by a vehicle.
In the hours after his death, Ramer addressed the media saying they “believed it was a deliberate and intentional act.”
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Umar Zameer of Thornhill, 31 was charged with first-degree murder. He has since been released on $335,000 bail last September. The evidence in this case is covered by a publication ban.
Margaret Northrup, a nurse who has worked in correctional facilities in Toronto for years and who met Jeff when he was a court officer transporting prisoners to court, said it’s important for her that there is accountability.
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“That’s all I want is accountability and I don’t know what justice will look like,” she said, saying that she is dreading the next few years and worries about the children hearing the details of what happened to their father.
“It’s going to be difficult. The pre-trial will be difficult. Another year after that is the trial. It’s seems like there’s not going to be any closure for a long time.”
As for the family’s plans for this Canada Day long weekend, they spent Thursday putting Jeff’s ashes to rest.
“Just the children and I. Everything’s been very public. I understand Jeff was a police officer and he was there to keep the public safe and I understand they grieve with me and I feel the support and I feel the love, but we need to do this as a family unit,” said Margaret.
On Saturday, the anniversary of Jeff’s death, the Northrups will be heading to a barbeque at 52 Division to spend time with her late husband’s former colleagues from the major crime unit and his former platoon, many of whom Jeff mentored.
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“That’s really important to us as a family and I think it’s important to them as our other family, as our blue family. They have been so supportive and so loving and caring and they’re as proud as my kids and Jeff’s kids as we are,” said Margaret, whose youngest son Mitchell just graduated from high school as an Ontario scholar, receiving three awards. That’s especially impressive, Margaret pointed out, given the difficult year Mitchell has had.
Margaret said Mitchell, who looks a lot like his dad, will be at the barbeque Saturday, just as his father frequently was, cooking for his platoon.
“Mitchell will also be making Jeff’s famous brownies to take in, too.”
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