Nova Scotia

Report clears Cape Breton police in Joneil Hanna death investigation

Hanna, 17, was struck by a vehicle and killed on a highway after he left a large outdoor grad party. His father had alleged police neglected their duties by failing to shut down the party or give the driver of the vehicle that hit his son a breathalyzer.

Halifax investigators looked into neglect of duty complaint made by teen's father

Joneil Hanna is shown with his baby daughter. (Gofundme)

Cape Breton Regional Police have been cleared by Halifax investigators of wrongdoing related to the investigation into the death last June of 17-year-old Joneil Hanna.

The North Sydney, N.S., teen was struck by a vehicle and killed on a highway in nearby Leitches Creek on June 10 after he left a large outdoor grad party.

Hanna's father, John Parr, laid a complaint under the Police Act alleging Cape Breton police neglected their duties by failing to shut down the party or give the driver of the vehicle that hit his son a breathalyzer.

An independent investigation by Supt. Jim Perrin and Staff Sgt. Kevin Smith of the Halifax Regional Police said there was no neglect of duty or disciplinary default by the Cape Breton Regional Police.

Their report has not been publicly released, but CBC News has obtained a copy of a letter to Parr from Cape Breton Regional Police Chief Peter MacIsaac in which he said he agrees with the findings.

Hanna died after he was hit by a car June 18, 2018. (Facebook)

Parr said he's disappointed in the report and has no faith left in the justice system. He said he will appeal the ruling.

"Basically he died for nothing really and because of police mishandling, no one is going to be held responsible," Parr said.

The report said police had no direct knowledge there was underage drinking at the party, but they were in the area responding to noise, traffic complaints and the "unruliness of an increasing large crowd."

It also said the driver that struck Hanna, 21-year-old Hayden Laffin, did not show any signs of impairment, and police had no legal grounds to administer a breathalyzer test.

The report said there was a lot of misinformation in the community about the events of that night, fuelled by social media and media.

Laffin faces charges of obstruction of justice in relation to Hanna's death. The couple that own the property where the grad party took place face charges under the Liquor Control Act.

With files from Gary Mansfield

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