The family of a Maple Ridge man who was shot by RCMP say they will continue to push for what they consider justice, and for a coroner’s inquest.
Kyaw Din was shot and killed by a Ridge Meadows RCMP member during a mental health call in August 2011. Last week, the Independent Investigations Office, a civilian oversight agency, cleared police officers of wrongdoing, deciding not to recommend the matter be referred to Crown Counsel.
“We are extremely saddened and devastated by IIO’s biased, unjust and unfair decision released last Thursday,” said family spokesperson Yin Yin Din.
She was at the home and dealt with police officers before her brother was shot three times and killed.
“Although IIO noticed the inconsistent and conflicting evidence given by the police officers and the paramedics, IIO intentionally sided with the powerful criminal police officers and made the shameful decision obviously,” she said.
The family will work to overturn the decision not to send the case to Crown. In particular, she said the analysis of the police decision to enter the bedroom, rather than wait for family, was not reasonable. She said three older family members were “could definitely de-escalate the situation.”
“Our beloved brother, Kyaw Din would be well and alive today if the Ridge Meadow police officers listened to my repeated requests not to enter his room, but waited for 5-10 minutes for Kyaw’s older sister and two older brothers,” she said.
She accused RCMP members of lying, in saying they had information that Kyaw Din was suicidal, so they could not wait for the arrival of family before entering the room.
The IIO report, was based largely on the testimony of three of the four attending police officers, two paramedics and Yin Yin, as well as physical evidence. It found the victim had thrown a barbell weight at officers, and then attacked an officer with a knife after they entered his bedroom.
The report found the officers’ decision to enter the room was not unreasonable, given Din’s state of delusion, and that the knife attack was unexpected, and out of character. It also found police use of force was justified.
The report said it was difficult to rely on Yin Yin’s account of the incident, because she could not have seen into the bedroom when police entered from her place in the hallway. The last time she saw her brother and spoke with him he was sitting passively in his chair, but that was before police entered his room, said the report.
The report notes she accused police of “planting” the barbell weight in the hallway, but a paramedic also stated he saw it fly from the room when the door opened.
The family has retained a lawyer, and Neil Chantler said the family has two years from the date of the incident to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the RCMP.
They would like a coroner’s inquest, which is a formal court proceeding, with a jury and witnesses who testify. They can be held if the chief coroner determines the need, such as addressing community concern about a death or drawing attention to a cause of death to prevent future deaths.
“We, the family members would like to request the public to carefully review the report and help us get public inquiry to get justice for our beloved brother, Kyaw Naing Din,” said his sister.