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LETTER: Maple Ridge resident says Din verdict shows police training inadequate

Other countries have much lower police shooting death rates, letter writer notes

Dear Editor,

Re: [Family disappointed in inquest results, The News, March 11]

Reading the newspaper article about the killing of Mr. Din can only evoke deep feelings of utter disbelief and anger from what transpired here. How can such a straightforward issue end in such a tragedy?

The independent board of investigation has said that everything was done according to the book. If that is so, then some very serious questions need to be asked regarding the procedures followed.

The shooting of Mr. Din, obviously, should never have happened. To whom was he posing a danger by being irrational in his own home? The situation became perilous for him at the moment when the police entered his room.

Time should have been taken to assess and de-escalate the situation. One of the officers stated that the call dragged on for more than an hour. So what? Is an hour too long to do things correctly?

Mr. Din was shot at very close range and hit in the head so there was no attempt to disable him by any other means. Must we aim to kill in order to stop someone? A young police officer should easily be able to disarm a person who has only a five centimetre knife as a weapon without resorting to a firearm.

To me it seems clear that there is something fundamentally wrong with police training in Canada. We should take lessons from a number of European countries on how to reduce shootings of civilians by police.

According to 2020 statistics, in Canada 9.7 people per 10 million were killed by police, Scandinavian countries, on the other hand, recorded <2 per 10M and Iceland – take note – only one person in their entire history!

Then again, it takes three years to become a police officer in Scandinavia and a mere six months in Canada.

We have a serious nagging problem regarding law enforcement in Canada which we seem unable or unwilling to correct.

The guiding principles of the RCMP are its core values: honesty, integrity, professionalism. compassion, accountability, and respect (HIPCAR).

Perhaps more emphasis should be given to compassion.

Gerard van Hilten, Maple Ridge

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• READ MORE: Officer who killed Maple Ridge man during mental health call was 7 months on the job

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