Family of man killed by police renews call for charges, after 2nd rejection by police watchdog

·3 min read
Kyaw Din, also known as Kyaw Naing Maung, 54, is pictured in this undated photograph with his sister, Myaing Dinsay. His family is again calling for charges against the officers who shot him to death. (Submitted by Yin Yin Hla Ma - image credit)
Kyaw Din, also known as Kyaw Naing Maung, 54, is pictured in this undated photograph with his sister, Myaing Dinsay. His family is again calling for charges against the officers who shot him to death. (Submitted by Yin Yin Hla Ma - image credit)

The family of Kyaw Din, who was shot dead by Ridge Meadows RCMP at his home in 2019, is again calling for charges to be filed by Crown prosecutors, after the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIOBC) declined for a second time to recommend them.

The IIO is a civilian police oversight agency responsible for conducting investigations into incidents of death or serious harm involving police officers, whether they are on or off duty.

Din's sister and brother held a Zoom call with reporters on Monday to repeat their claims that police and paramedics at the scene of the deadly shooting in August 2019, didn't tell investigators the truth about the incident.

On Thursday, the family received a letter from Ron MacDonald, the IIOBC's chief civilian director, which again rejected its request to have the case forwarded to prosecutors to file murder and criminal negligence charges against the police officers involved in the incident.

"We do not accept the decision. We will continue to try to get Kyaw's file to the Crown to get justice for him," said his brother, Min Aung, on Monday.

Min Aung, the brother of Kyaw Din, who was killed by Ridge Meadows RCMP officers in his home in August 2019, speaks to reporters during a video call on Monday. Aung claims officers and paramedics at the scene of his brother's death lied to civilian investigators with the IIOBC.
Min Aung, the brother of Kyaw Din, who was killed by Ridge Meadows RCMP officers in his home in August 2019, speaks to reporters during a video call on Monday. Aung claims officers and paramedics at the scene of his brother's death lied to civilian investigators with the IIOBC.(Zoom)

According to the IIOBC report on Din's death released in September, the officers' actions were "reasonable and appropriate."

"Their actions do not constitute any form of criminal negligence or other criminal act," said the report.

Aung and one of Kyaw Din's sisters, Yin Yin Din, repeated their version of the deadly encounter on Monday, again saying how their accounts differ dramatically from the witness accounts of the officers and paramedics, including where Yin Yin Din was in the house at the time, her response, and what was said by officers.

Officers claimed Kyaw Din, who had schizophrenia, risked harming himself and charged them with a knife before they shot him.

Yin Yin Din claims her brother was calm and had previously had other peaceful encounters with police.

Yin Yin Din, Kyaw Din's sister, stands next to her brothers Min Aung and Hlesaee Din. The three are pictured in September, after the release of the IIOBC report into Kyaw Din's death.
Yin Yin Din, Kyaw Din's sister, stands next to her brothers Min Aung and Hlesaee Din. The three are pictured in September, after the release of the IIOBC report into Kyaw Din's death.(Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The family has written to the province's attorney general, David Eby, to ask that charges be forwarded to prosecutors, but hasn't heard back.

The BC Coroners Service said after the September IIOBC report was released that the agency could then begin its fact-finding investigation.

According to Din's family, the coroners service is now reviewing the case and the family is waiting for it to schedule a coroner's inquest.

Coroner's inquests are meant to assess the facts of an incident and make recommendations to avoid similar deaths in future but do not assign blame.