Family of Maple Ridge police shooting victim calls for coroner’s inquest

Man killed by 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

COVID-19. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposure at Westview in Maple Ridge

Third high school reporting virus in 2021

A vehicle incident is blocking the eastbound lanes on Lougheed Highway at Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge on Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Google)
TRAFFIC: Lougheed Highway cleared in Maple Ridge, expect congestion

Earlier, eastbound lanes at Jim Robson Way were closed

CP Rail intends to create a logistics park with fuel and grain storage in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)
LETTER: CP’s history in Pitt Meadows does not bode well for the future

National rail company needs to be a better neighbour if it wants to expand operations

The pandemic has sent the price of dogs skyrocketing. A local letter writers asks some questions about having pets. (Black Press Media files)
LETTER: Maple Ridge resident questions people’s views on pets

People owe pets the same love and commitment they show to humans, a letter writer contends

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

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

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read