The BC Coroners Service has scheduled a public inquest into the death of Kyaw Din, who was shot by Ridge Meadows RCMP during a mental health call in August of 2019.
Kyaw Naing Din was 54 when he was shot in the family home he shared with his siblings on Colemore Street. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and was frequently taken by police to hospital.
The province’s police watchdog agency, the Independent Investigations Office, found the officers had been justified in their use of force in a report released in September of 2020.
“AP [Din] would not come out of his bedroom, and there were concerns that he might respond violently when officers entered,” said the report. “After the bedroom door was opened, AP threw an object in the officer’s direction. A conducted energy weapon was deployed but was not effective. AP then charged at officers with a knife in his hand, and was fatally shot by the subject officer.”
The victim’s family disagrees with the findings of the report, and has been waiting for a coroner’s inquest.
“We’ve been looking forward to this day, because we’ve been in the dark for two-and-a-half years,” said his sister Yin Yin Din, who was on the scene the day he was shot.
She has also pushed for the the identity of the officers involved to be made public.
“A human being was killed, but the killer was not known. And that is very hard to accept for the family.”
The family wants to eventually see a criminal trial.
“We want the jury to understand what really happened, and refer the case to Crown counsel,” said Yin Yin.
The inquest will begin on Feb. 28 at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court in Burnaby. Under the Coroners Act, inquests are mandatory when a person dies while detained by, or in the custody of, a peace officer.
Presiding coroner Donita Kuzma and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding the death. The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances, said a press release from the Coroner’s Service. A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.
An inquest is a formal process that allows public presentation of evidence relating to a death. The jury will certify the identity of the deceased and how, where, when and by what means death occurred. The inquest will be open to the public.
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