LANGLEY – B.C.’s police watchdog says Mounties with the Langley RCMP did nothing wrong the night Carson Crimeni died.
The Independent Investigation’s Office says the actions of the officers on the night the 14-year-old died were “not negligent,” and that “they acted completely reasonably in the circumstances.”
Carson died of a suspected overdose at Walnut Grove Skate Park in Langley on Aug. 7. Video of his last moments, spent with a group of other teens, was widely circulated on social media.
The IIO says the RCMP was called by a witness just after 8:00 p.m. to report “her daughter had shown her a Snapchat photo the daughter had received about an hour earlier of a young male (AP) at the Walnut Grove skate park, who looked ‘out of it.'”
The witness, referred to as the “Civilian Witness” (CW) in the IIO’s report, then apparently told the dispatcher that AP — the “Affected Person” — had taken 15 capsules of “Molly,” a term used to refer to MDMA or ecstasy.
Two officers were sent to the park to conduct a welfare check. According to the report, they didn’t get to the park until 8:25 p.m.
“At 8:31 p.m., SO1 radioed ‘Nobody here. GOA [gone on arrival].’ At about 8:43 p.m. the two officers were dispatched to another call in the same vicinity.”
One witness apparently told the watchdog it appeared the RCMP officers weren’t sure if the report was “genuine or a hoax.”
It wasn’t until 10:39 p.m. that a second call came in to 9-1-1, this time reporting that Carson was found in the area of the baseball diamond. Police and paramedics were once again sent to the area, where the teen was found “to be in serious medical distress.”
He was taken to the hospital, but died.
“The location where AP was discovered is approximately 650 metres from the skate park, on the other side of a number of buildings and other visual obstructions,” the IIO’s report adds.
While the officers spent about 20 minutes at the park following the first report into 9-1-1, the IIO says they weren’t able to find the boy because it was concluded that he and the group he was with moved “to a location a considerable distance away.”
“Unfortunately, there was nothing at the skate park to assist the officers in determining where AP might have gone — how far and in which direction,” the watchdog says. “This was a tragic incident leading to the death of a young person. However, the actions of he police played no role in that outcome.”
The IIO says no charges will be forwarded to Crown counsel.
Carson’s grandfather, Darrel, doesn’t blame the police for what happened. He says the kids Carson was with may have been evading police.
“Well, the whole thing’s frustrating. They didn’t just move him. They moved themselves obviously, as well,” he says. “They removed themselves and Carson. Do I wish they had just run away and left Carson at the skate park? I do, but they ran away and left him to die in the other park.”