Police cleared in North Van teen’s death

The Independent Investigations Office has cleared police of any wrongdoing in the death of a North Vancouver teen.

The 18-year-old student at the University of British Columbia was found dead under the Lions Gate Bridge within hours of his release from custody by University RCMP.

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According to the IIO, which is called in whenever someone is harmed or killed in their interactions with police, the young man was arrested on Feb. 5. Around 2:30 a.m., he was released and driven by officers to his place of residence. Two hours later, a security guard found his body on the northern shore of Burrard Inlet under the bridge.

The investigation focused on his state of mind at the time he was released by police.

But after reviewing the cell block footage, radio communications and a search of the man’s home and belongings, the chief civilian director of the IIO concluded police were not responsible.

“The evidence demonstrates that police carried out a lawful investigation, that they were justified in releasing him after the arrest, and that the man’s death did not arise as a consequence of their actions or inactions,” a statement from the IIO read Wednesday evening.

The teen’s family has declined comment and asked that his name not be released.

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