May 24, 2009
GILLIAN SLADE, Medicine Hat News
The decision to send Grant Prentice’s body to Calgary before his family was notified of his death on May 6, after he had been Tasered by RCMP, was based on the need for a secure environment.
Clifton Purvis, executive director of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, clarified the decision in an interview with the News on Friday morning.
“In a situation like this it is treated as a homicide,” said Purvis. “As soon as a medical officer is engaged they get custody of the body.”
Brooks RCMP were called to investigate an incident in the city on May 6 about 7:30 p.m. and in the process of trying to arrest Grant Prentice he was Tasered by an RCMP officer. He was subsequently taken to Brooks Hospital and pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m. The family was not notified until 8:30 a.m. May 7.
Although there was a tentative identification made of the body by members of the RCMP, Purvis explained they found it necessary to make a conclusive identification before notifying the family.
“It would not be appropriate to ask the family to identify the body when there was not conclusive evidence that it was their son,” said Purvis. “Finger prints were taken and sent to Ottawa for conclusive identification,” said Purvis.
The process of identifying the finger prints takes a long time, according to Purvis, as the computer sifts through a data base to find a match.
Alberta Serious Incident Response Team includes two team members, one a civilian and the other an RCMP officer, who are responsible for liaison with the family.
Purvis did not feel there was any concern regarding the way this situation had been handled.
While the family may still not be given answers to their questions due to the on-going investigation, Purvis said they were welcome to call him.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Saturday, May 23, 2009
May 24, 2009