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)

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Chilliwack survey asks for feedback on planned Rosedale skate park

The new structure will occupy a 3,000 square foot space in the middle of Rosedale Park

File
Agassiz Speedway hosts food drive for AHCS

Food, toys, cash and more accepted at Super Valu in Agassiz, Nov. 28

(Left to right) Brandon Kloot, board member with John Kampman, board chair, and Matt Van Muyen, System Principal at Unity Christian School pose with the sold sign on a 8.1 acre property the school has purchased to plan for future growth, November, 2020. (Submitted photo)
Land purchase by Unity Christian will help with future growth

New acquisition ‘promises to be a blessing for the long-term future of our school’ says board chair

File
Exterior Christmas decorators wanted Agassiz Seniors Community

Call to action to brighten the upcoming holiday season for isolated seniors

Santa Claus makes his way through the Cottonwood Centre shopping mall during his big arrival in 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Santa’s Cottonwood Centre visits in Chilliwack cancelled by COVID

Provincial health orders mean Santa won’t be able to visit children, even with physical distancing

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Most Read