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Coroner announces inquest into Maple Ridge police shooting

Kyaw Din was killed by RCMP members during a mental health call in 2019
Yin Yin Din, sister of Kyaw Din who was shot by police, speaks at a rally in Maple Ridge in the months after the shooting. (The News files)

The BC Coroners Service has scheduled a public inquest into the death of Kyaw Din, who was shot by Ridge Meadows RCMP during a mental health call in August of 2019.

Kyaw Naing Din was 54 when he was shot in the family home he shared with his siblings on Colemore Street. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and was frequently taken by police to hospital.

READ ALSO: Sister mourns brother who died in police shooting in Maple Ridge

The province’s police watchdog agency, the Independent Investigations Office, found the officers had been justified in their use of force in a report released in September of 2020.

“AP [Din] would not come out of his bedroom, and there were concerns that he might respond violently when officers entered,” said the report. “After the bedroom door was opened, AP threw an object in the officer’s direction. A conducted energy weapon was deployed but was not effective. AP then charged at officers with a knife in his hand, and was fatally shot by the subject officer.”

READ ALSO: IIO recommends no charges in Maple Ridge police shooting

The victim’s family disagrees with the findings of the report, and has been waiting for a coroner’s inquest.

“We’ve been looking forward to this day, because we’ve been in the dark for two-and-a-half years,” said his sister Yin Yin Din, who was on the scene the day he was shot.

She has also pushed for the the identity of the officers involved to be made public.

“A human being was killed, but the killer was not known. And that is very hard to accept for the family.”

The family wants to eventually see a criminal trial.

“We want the jury to understand what really happened, and refer the case to Crown counsel,” said Yin Yin.

The inquest will begin on Feb. 28 at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court in Burnaby. Under the Coroners Act, inquests are mandatory when a person dies while detained by, or in the custody of, a peace officer.

Presiding coroner Donita Kuzma and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding the death. The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances, said a press release from the Coroner’s Service. A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.

An inquest is a formal process that allows public presentation of evidence relating to a death. The jury will certify the identity of the deceased and how, where, when and by what means death occurred. The inquest will be open to the public.

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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