Family of police shooting victim calls for coroner’s inquest

Man killed by Ridge Meadows RCMP during mental health call

Kyaw Din was a Burmese immigrant who suffered from mental illness. (Contributed)

The family of Maple Ridge police shooting victim Kyaw Naing Din is asking for a coroner’s inquest into the circumstances that led to their brother’s death.

The request, sent to Lisa Lapointe, B.C.’s chief coroner, alleges RCMP officers shot and killed Din without justification.

It was sent by his siblings Yin Yin Hla Ma, Hla Myaing Ma, and Thant Zin Maung through their lawyer Jason Gratl.

Din, a 54-year-old Burmese immigrant, was shot on Aug. 11 in his Maple Ridge home, after his family called 9-1-1 for assistance.

“Mr. Din suffered from schizophrenia, spoke little English, and relied on his siblings for support,” Gratl said. “Mr. Din’s sister, Ms. Ma, called 9-1-1 to request assistance with taking her brother to hospital when he failed to recognized her as his sister.”

According to Yin Yin Ma, before her brother was shot there were two officers at the house awaiting the arrival of paramedics. He was peaceful, in his bedroom, she said. Two paramedics and two more RCMP officers arrived. The two later-arriving officers entered Din’s bedroom, where they used a Taser and then shot the victim three times, said the family.

“Officers entered the residence and located three individuals, one of which had a knife. During the course of the interaction, a conducted energy weapon was deployed but was not successful, and another police officer fired their gun,” BC RCMP communications director Dawn Roberts said on the day of the shooting.

The family disputes whether Din had a weapon or reacted violently to police.

“The competing version of events that led to Mr. Din’s death raise troubling credibility issues that are impossible to reconcile without a coroner’s inquest,” said Gratl.

“The RCMP should never be barging with guns drawn into the bedroom of a person with limited English and mental health problems. There is enough evidence here to be seriously concerned about another RCMP cover up.”

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is investigating, as it does after any officer-involved deaths in the province.

A coroner’s inquest is a formal court proceeding before a jury, with testimony given by witnesses under oath, to determine facts relating to a death.

The jury may make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in future.

Gratl said an inquiry is important in this case, for the public to know “whether RCMP policy or training is at fault for what has happened.”

BC Coroners Service spokesperson Andy Watson said under the Coroners Act it is mandatory for any death in the custody of police officers, in fact all peace officers, to be reviewed through inquest. It will be up to the Coroners Service to determine if this death meets the criteria. If not, the chief coroner also has discretionary powers to hold inquests in death investigations when it may be in the public interest.

Because in any IIO investigation there is potential for charges to be recommended, formal inquest direction is not undertaken until the IIO concludes its investigation, he explained.

“We are a fact-finding agency, not fault-finding, an inquest may not make any finding that implies legal responsibility,” Watson added.

The Alliance Against Displacement and the family held a rally on Oct. 5 to call for murder charges against the officer who fired the shots, and for police to no longer attend mental health calls.


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Long-serving Langley City councillor Jack Arnold dies

Arnold passed away in his sleep on Dec. 11

Hallmark-famous Santa makes one last stop in Aldergrove

Keith Alton’s 50th year as St. Nick continues on Friday (Dec. 13) at Aldergrove pierogi shop

$16,500 raised in Aldergrove, 66 kids go to camp free in memory of Brooklyn

Family and camp friends remember late young Loft Country rider during Saturday night fundraiser

Langley City poll shows residents are (mostly) content

Quality of life rated high, many proposed improvements find support, but pay parking is not favoured

South Langley farm welcomes three new fjord mares from Germany

Footnote Farm is the largest breeder of the rare horse in the province

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

B.C. SPCA seizes dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

BC Hydro offers tips as collisions with power poles increase

Region with the largest spike in collisions was the Lower Mainland at 16 per cent

Canadian airline passengers to be eligible for $1,000 in compensation for delayed flights

Passengers can also receive compensation for overbooking, lost luggage and other inconveniences

Second snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Another 20 cm of snow is expected to fall by early Friday

Metro Vancouver mayors green light regional business license for ride-hailing

Surrey mayor only member to vote against inter-municipality business license

FVRD emergency plan only ‘partially meeting’ expectations, says auditor

Regional district says they are already working on shortfalls in emergency management

Most Read