The family of a man who was shot and killed by Ridge Meadows RCMP held a rally calling for justice on Saturday in Maple Ridge’s Memorial Peace Park.
Kyaw Din was fatally shot in his home on Colemore Street by Ridge Meadows RCMP on Aug. 11, as officers responded to a call for what police called a “reported domestic dispute.”
His sister Yin Yin Din, spoke in front of a banner that read “Justice 4 Kyaw,” above a memorial of photos of her brother flanked by placards with anti-RCMP slogans. People walked up and left flowers near his picture as she spoke.
Yin Yin gave her version of the events of that day, saying police were called to help get her brother, a Burmese immigrant who suffered from schizophrenia, to the hospital. Police had taken Kyaw, an immigrant from Myanmar with limited English, to the hospital many times in the past when he needed treatment for mental health problems, said Yin Yin.
She said police first used a conducted energy weapon, and then shot her brother three times.
Kyaw’s older brother Hla Din, one of eight siblings in the family, demanded murder charges against the officer who shot his brother. He said they also want the officer in charge of the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment Supt. Jennifer Hyland to resign, and demanded police no longer respond to mental health calls.
Listen Chen of the Alliance Against Displacement was the MC and led the crowd in chants such as “Police brutality, shut it down!”
Chen said her group, which has advocated for the homeless population of Maple Ridge and other communities, is advocating on behalf of “poor, racialized, mental health patients,” whom she said are not seen as part of the public the RCMP must serve and protect.
“We see this event as part of a broader pattern,” said Chen.
She said another agency should handle mental health calls, and compared the Maple Ridge shooting to those of other people in distress, including Vancouver resident Tony Du, Surrey man Hudson Brooks, and Rhett Mutch of Victoria.
A police statement indicated Din had a weapon when he was shot.
“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,” said BC RCMP communications director Dawn Roberts.
The Independent Investigations Office has taken charge of investigating the incident, and police are releasing no further information.