Police take stand again at review board hearing on investigation into Joneil Hanna's death
SYDNEY, N.S. -- For the second day in a row, Cape Breton Regional Police officers testified at a police review board hearing into the death of a teen after a large graduation party two summers ago.
Joneil Hanna, 17, was struck and killed by a vehicle as he was walking along a roadway after leaving the party in Leitches Creek, N.S. The hearing is examining how police responded to the incident.
Const. Dale MacLean testified Tuesday he was called to the party three times that night. The first was about the large party and the traffic on the road.
He said he spoke to the homeowners who said they didn't have any concerns. The second call came from the homeowners asking for help in shutting the party down.
The third call was a report that someone had been maced, but nobody was found.
MacLean said another call came in that somebody was passed out on the roadway.
When he arrived, there was screaming, and he witnessed a male on the road.
At that point MacLean said he had no idea what had happened to the male.
The board questioned MacLean if he asked about underage drinking on the property. He said no, but it was obvious people were drinking.
Const. Nicole Muise told the board she was called for crowd control and observed several youth in the area. She was told there was underage drinking, but nobody was arrested.
The board questioned why no arrests were made, but Muise said she was only asked to control the crowds.
Retired Const. John Ratchford testified he was first to make contact with Joneil Hanna’s friend, who was with him when the teen was struck by a vehicle.
Ratchford said another constable was questioning the driver, Hayden Laffin, who told him Hanna jumped out in front of him and collapsed on the road.
He said, at one point when he arrived at the party later that evening, bottles were thrown towards the police.
Ratchford said some people were arrested for intoxication.
The two-week hearing was scheduled after Joneil Hanna's father filed a complaint about Cape Breton Regional Police’s handling of the case.
On Monday, police officers told the board the driver of the vehicle that hit Joneil Hanna showed no signs of impairment. The hearing will continue Wednesday.