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

Abbotsford man’s murder trial set for January

David Albert Miller charged in death of 52-year-old woman in Kamloops

Snow clearing facts: One fine issued last year for not clearing sidewalks in Abbotsford

City used 3,500 tons of salt last year, paid just 5 cents/pound

Car fire & explosion in Abbotsford believed to be linked to previous arson attempt

Suspects seen pouring gas on car on Mayfair Avenue, in central Abbotsford

Abbotsford Police’s bike squad members redeployed

Squad had been used as reserve manpower for higher-priority areas

Great Gatsby event raises funds for Fraser Valley hospitals

Politicians, supporters and more gather in Harrison Hot Springs for fundraising bash

VIDEO: UBC students offered $1,000 to help with leaving Hong Kong

The university said 31 of its students were attending four universities in Hong Kong

Infants more vulnerable to measles than previously thought: Canadian study

Babies typically don’t receive the measles vaccine until they are 12 months old

Shatner, Obomsawin among 39 inductees to Order of Canada today

Shatner is being given one of Canada’s highest civilian honours for his 60-year career

VIDEO: One man dead after early morning house fire in Langley

Two other people were sent to hospital with injuries

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

Teacher tells B.C. Supreme Court that student was ‘happy’ to watch smudging ceremony in classroom

Case being heard in Nanaimo over indigenous cultural practice in Port Alberni classroom

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

B.C. mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

Most Read