The public, police, and school district are working towards prevention and justice in the wake of the death of 14-year-old Carson Crimeni.
A variety of initiatives, from petitions to interventions with teens, have taken place in the last two weeks since Crimeni died on Aug. 7.
A petition on Change.org calls for “Justice for Carson Crimeni” and asks for the people allegedly involved in the youth’s death to be held accountable.
“Three people were heavily involved in a young 14 year old boys death August 2019,” reads the petition. “They pressured him into taking a dangerous amount of drugs because they wanted to see him ‘messed up.’ They filmed him out of his mind, clearly in need of medical help. They laughed at him. They made fun of him. They joked about his death. They posed pictures with the ambulance, treating his life as meaningless. These kids should be held accountable.”
The petition refers to disturbing video clips posted to social media, showing Carson barely able to stand while others laughed at him, shortly before his death.
Langley RCMP are investigating.
Police can’t speak to this specific case, but a case in which someone forced another person to ingest a lethal amount of drugs would likely see a charge of criminal negligence causing death, said Cpl. Holly Largy, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.
“Criminal negligence is a really hard charge to prove,” Largy said, noting it requires a thorough investigation.
Penalties for criminal negligence causing death can lead to a life sentence, although that is rare.
In the most well-known recent Langley case, road-rage killer Brent Parent was sentenced to 5.5 years in jail after he ran down and killed Silas O’Brien on 16th Avenue in 2008.
Another charge under Canadian law is “administering a noxious substance,” which can include poisons or other substances. If the judge finds there was an intention to endanger life or cause harm, the maximum prison sentence is 14 years.
After Carson’s death, Walnut Grove Secondary held a meeting in the school library on Aug. 13, said Langley School Board Chair Megan Dykeman.
The meeting was an opportunity for students to come in and meet with counselling staff, school administrators, and support agencies.
“The school will also be providing support for students as they start the new school year in September,” Dykeman said.
Staff have already been working on plans to create that support, and district and Walnut Grove staff plan to work with parents on substance abuse-related issues on an ongoing basis.
“We recognize the impact of this tragedy on the students of our school community, their families, and our community as a whole,” Dykeman said. “As part of our ongoing commitment to safe and caring schools, we believe it is important to provide support to those students in need before September.”
Local residents have repeatedly reached out to help the Crimeni family in the wake of Carson’s death, attending a vigil at the skate park and posting messages of condolence in person and on social media.
They have also helped the family financially, with a GoFundMe campaign for the Carson Crimeni Memorial Fund reaching more than $37,700 as of mid-week, far past its original $20,000 goal. There were more than 630 individual donors to the fund.
The fund was created to support the family as they go through a difficult time, and to pay for funeral costs.
A funeral for Carson will be held on Aug. 29, at 1 p.m. at the Church in the Valley at 23589 Old Yale Road.
The event will be open to the public.