B.C.’s police agencies have yet to concede to a demand from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs that officers investigate the government agencies involved in the case of an Aboriginal teen who died of an overdose on the Downtown Eastside.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says front-line workers may have broken the law by repeatedly failing to report that the 19-year-old, only identified as Paige, needed protection.
He is demanding accountability.
“The circumstances that led to Paige’s tragic death are so incredibly horrific that there needs to be accountability for that string of circumstances and negligence on the part of a whole multitude of groups.”
The VPD says it’s the RCMP’s jurisdiction, but Sergeant Rob Vermeulen would only say E-Division is examining its “potential role.”
“The negligence, so to speak, were in fact VPD officers, so I think having the RCMP, E-Division, take the responsibility for the investigation would be more appropriate.”
The law states someone who fails to inform the government of a child needing protection is punishable by a fine or even jail time.