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External Review on the Death of Jeremy Richardson

Oak Bay Police Complete External Review of Circumstances Surrounding The Death of Jeremy Richardson

On Saturday, April 21, shortly after 11 am, The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP responded to a call of a man who was reportedly passed out in a public area of downtown Duncan.  Prior to police arrival, the man had walked away from the original location, after declining assistance from the British Columbia Ambulance Service.
Officers patrolled that area and located the man a short distance away.  The man was arrested without incident for causing a disturbance.  He was transported to the North Cowichan/Duncan Detachment where he was lodged in cells, slated for release once sober.  The man was cooperative with police throughout his arrest and time in custody.
At approximately 2 p.m. on April 21st, the man was found to be in medical distress by the on- duty guard.
BC Ambulance Service was called to the Detachment, and transported the man to Cowichan District Hospital for medical treatment.  He was later transferred to Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria.  Shortly before noon on April 22nd, the man passed away in hospital.
In keeping with the RCMP’s commitment to external review of such cases, the Oak Bay Police Department conducted a review of the circumstances related to this death.
During the course of the review Oak Bay Police Department investigators interviewed nine witnesses, reviewed video from the cell block, and examined the location where Mr. Richardson was initially arrested.  The review determined that there was no use of excessive or unreasonable force at any time during the arrest of Mr. Richardson or during his time in custody at the Duncan RCMP detachment.  Mr. Richardson was compliant at the time of arrest and at the cellblock at Duncan detachment.  Upon realizing that Mr. Richardson was in medical distress the investigating officer called an ambulance and Mr. Richardson was transported to the Cowichan Regional Hospital.  A forensic autopsy determined that Mr. Richardson death was due to a severe respiratory failure caused by methadone and acute alcohol intoxication.   The autopsy found no evidence of significant physical injury.
The BC Coroners Service is also conducting an investigation, standard in cases where a death occurs in close proximity to a period of police custody.
The external police review of this matter is now concluded.
M. Fisher, Chief Constable
Oak Bay Police Department

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