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‘These people belong behind bars’: No charges a year after 14-year-old B.C. boy’s overdose death

Click to play video: 'No charges laid one year after Carson Crimeni’s death' No charges laid one year after Carson Crimeni’s death
WATCH: It's been one year since 14-year-old Carson Crimeni died of a suspected drug overdose near a Langley skate park as others stood by and filmed the teen's final moments in distress. – Aug 10, 2020

One year after Carson Crimeni died of a drug overdose near a Langley, B.C., skate park as others stood by and filmed his final moments, the 14-year-old’s family still hopes that someone will be held accountable in his death.

For father Aron Crimeni, the pain has not faded.

“I wouldn’t say it’s gotten any easier at all,” he said. “[You] try to keep yourself distracted on other things so your mind doesn’t wander too much and get into too dark of a place. It definitely hasn’t gotten easier.”

Globalnews.ca coverage of the death of Carson Crimeni

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Carson died last summer in an incident that was filmed and shared on social media.

The video depicts the teen agitated, sweating and in deteriorating condition in the Walnut Grove skate park on Aug. 7, 2019, as a group of older youth mock and laugh at him.

The boy wasn’t found until later, alone and barely breathing, in a ditch near the baseball field close to the skate park. He was rushed to hospital, where he died.

Police launched an investigation into whether anyone was criminally responsible, Aron said, but he is still waiting to hear whether charges will be laid.  

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “It’s been a year. We haven’t heard any real news yet. We’re still hopeful.”

Read more: Langley teen overdose victim would have helped others if given the chance, family says

He said the RCMP filed roughly 2,000 pages to Crown counsel in December.

“His death wasn’t an accident,” Aron said. “I mean, these people belong behind bars. I mean, if it doesn’t end up being that way, something is desperately wrong with the system.”

The B.C. Prosecution Service declined to share details with Global News, as the case remains under charge assessment.

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Read more: ‘They knew he was dying’: Father of Langley teen overdose victim wants bystanders charged

In December, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., which investigates police-related incidents involving death or serious harm, probed the conduct of two officers who were sent to look for Carson but left the park without finding him. The watchdog determined officers did not commit an offence.

An online petition calling for criminal charges in the case has garnered more than 62,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.

Aron said someone needs to be held accountable for his son’s death.

“If charges are laid, I think that’ll create awareness more than anything,” he said. “Let people know that you can’t get away with this. This is not something that’s acceptable. It’s not something that we accept as a society and you will be punished.”

— With files from Simon Little and Rumina Daya

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