Officers were not negligent in Carson Crimeni's death: IIO
VANCOUVER -- B.C.'s police watchdog has found officers were not negligent in their response to a teenager's suspected overdose and subsequent death at a Langley skate park in August.
On Aug. 7, 14-year-old Carson Crimeni died of a suspected drug overdose. According to the Independent Investigations Office, Langley RCMP received a call at roughly 8 p.m. from someone who had seen a Snapchat photo of Crimeni and was concerned for his welfare. Two officers responded to the scene, but could not find the teen, the IIO said.
The IIO was asked to investigate police involvement in the incident and to determine whether any action or inaction on the part of the police played a role in Crimeni's death.
"The issue to be considered in this case is whether an officer may have been negligent with respect to the initial police response," a report from Ronald MacDonald, chief civilian director with the IIO, released Monday said.
"Given the nature of the initial complaint, they had a duty to use reasonable efforts to attempt to locate an individual who may have been in medical distress and in need of help."
The report found, however, that officers "acted completely reasonably" in their response, because there wasn't information given to help them determine where Crimeni had gone.
In August, Crimeni's dad, Aron, questioned how thoroughly officers had searched for his son.
"It's heartbreaking to think that they could have got him to the hospital two hours earlier. That might have been the difference," he said at the time.
Crimeni was found in severe medical distress around 10 p.m. His family believes he died of a drug overdose after allegedly taking drugs given to him by another group of teens.
However MacDonald's report says the officers thought they were responding to a call that was at least 10 minutes old, but did not know at the time that the incident was actually over an hour old.
"For all they knew, the report could have been false, and even if taken at face value it lacked detail about the exact place and time at which the distressed youth had first been seen," MacDonald's report says.
"Nevertheless, the evidence shows, the officers spent almost 20 minutes at the skate park area and found no trace of (Crimeni) or anyone with information about him."
MacDonald's report says that's because the group Crimeni was with had moved "to a location a considerable distance away."
"This was a tragic incident leading to the death of a young person," MacDonald's report says. "However, the actions of the police played no role in that outcome."
As a result of the findings, the matter won't be forwarded to Crown counsel for consideration of charges.