An Alberta agency that investigates police is looking at how Calgary officers handled the case of a young man they arrested and later found dead.
Police took 18-year-old Colton Crowshoe into custody on July 2 and charged him with trespassing and break and enter.
He was released the same day.
Media reported that his family said he came home with bruises and scratches on his face and told them he had been roughed up by officers.
A few days later, the family reported him missing, saying he hadn’t been seen since the night of July 3.
His body was discovered three weeks later in a city retention pond. An autopsy determined his death was a homicide, but police wouldn’t reveal how or when he died.
An Alberta Justice spokeswoman said Friday that Calgary police requested that the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, also known as ASIRT, independently investigate the matter.
A news release from ASIRT said the agency is looking into police interactions with Mr. Crowshoe before his disappearance, as well as “a possible breach of trust” in the handling of his family’s missing person complaint.
Mr. Crowshoe’s relatives have told media that they don’t think police took their missing person report seriously. They also levelled accusations of racism.
Police had issued a missing person news release with a description of Mr. Crowshoe on July 22, two days before his body was discovered. It said it was believed the young man was last with a friend.
“But after following up this information and other leads, he has not been located,” said the release.
“There is no evidence to indicate foul play; however, given the time that has passed, investigators are seeking public assistance for information on his whereabouts.”
In a later release, the force did not address the allegations made by Mr. Crowshoe’s family.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Crowshoe family, but we will not address or comment on these allegations through the media or in a public forum. Our focus remains on the homicide investigation and in bringing the person(s) responsible for Colton’s death to justice.”
An aunt said Friday she had no comment on the ASIRT investigation, but expected a family statement would be released.