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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ASIRT investigation finds RCMP actions justified

January 20, 2010
Government of Alberta

Criminal charges will not be laid against two RCMP constables in the death of Grant William Prentice in Brooks last spring. The decision follows an investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).

On May 6, two RCMP officers responded to a call about a man behaving erratically and attempting to force his way into a home. On arrival, police tried to handcuff Prentice and used a taser in push-stun mode on him twice. Neither taser deployment appeared to have any effect on the man. Three more RCMP officers arrived and all five officers struggled with Prentice and eventually placed him in handcuffs. While being taken to an RCMP vehicle, Prentice appeared to be in medical distress. Emergency medical services were on scene and immediately provided treatment. Prentice was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The medical examiner found Prentice’s death was caused by acute cocaine toxicity. The autopsy revealed he had more than double the amount of cocaine in his body than is normally considered life-threatening. The medical examiner also concluded the taser did not play a role in the death of Prentice.

The taser involved was independently tested and was found to be operating properly.

The executive director of ASIRT has reviewed the file and has concluded the actions of the police officers were justified in the circumstances.

ASIRT is a provincially funded unit lead by a civilian director. It is mandated to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person as well as sensitive allegations of police misconduct.


Media inquiries may be directed to:
Clifton Purvis
Executive Director
Alberta Serious Incident Response Team

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

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