Grand Forks RCMP officers have been cleared of neglect by B.C.’s police watchdog in an incident involving a man who died following a wellness check at his home.
According to a report released Thursday (Nov. 18) by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., police were called to the home of a local man on June 8, after the man’s sister requested a wellness check from her home in Greater Vancouver.
According to police records obtained by the IIO, two officers arrived at the residence and found the man sleeping in his bed with the TV on. They reported him to be breathing normally.
The man’s sister was told the man would be checked on again the following day by police.
At about 2 p.m. the next day, another woman went to the man’s home and entered when she didn’t get a response from him. Inside she found him in medical distress.
The man was taken to hospital where he was admitted in grave condition. He died a few hours later.
In a separate interview, one of the paramedics who responded to the incident told the IIO that she had been to the man’s residence many times in relation to various health issues.
Pathologist reports indicated that the man died of natural causes.
The IIO said in its report that it’s believed the man’s medical conditions worsened significantly between the police checkup and the next day, adding the two officers “were nunder no duty to go further – to wake him and attempt to assess him medically, a task for which they were neither trained nor qualified.”