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RCMP cleared of wrongdoing in shooting death of mentally ill man in Maple Ridge

Last Updated Sep 24, 2020 at 3:05 pm PDT

Family and friends of Kyaw Naing Din demonstrate and demand justice after police shot and killed Din his his Maple Ridge home in August 2019. (CityNews)
Summary

B.C.'s police watchdog has cleared two Mounties of wrongdoing for the fatal shooting of Kyaw Naing Din in Maple Ridge

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald says the officers were acting in self-defence when they shot Din last year

MacDonald says a family member, who claimed the 54-year-old was not armed, is wrong

MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) — The RCMP officers who shot a mentally ill man three times at his Maple Ridge home last year were cleared of any wrongdoing by B.C.’s police watchdog Thursday.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) determined the two officers involved in the shooting of Kyaw Naing Din were acting in self-defence.

On Aug. 11, 2019, police were called to a Maple Ridge home around 1 p.m. to investigate a report of domestic abuse. When officers entered the home, they found three people, including a man wielding a knife, according to the RCMP at the time.

Ron MacDonald, the chief civilian director of the IIO, said there is no doubt the 54-year-old man, who suffered from schizophrenia, posed a threat.

MacDonald said Din came toward one of the officers with a knife, trying to stab the Mountie who managed to get out of the way.

“[Din] again tried to slash the officer. It was only at this point, that the subject officer shot him to protect his fellow officer.”

MacDonald explains after reviewing the evidence, “it is clear that while the officers expected some physical resistance, they did not expect a knife attack.”


Din’s family has accused Mounties of murdering him after responding to the 911 call.

The family said Din wasn’t armed and wanted the officers to drive him to the hospital. He had allowed police to take him to the hospital in the past, they said.

According to the IIO, the forensic evidence didn’t line up with claims made by one of Din’s relatives, who said Din was sitting when he was shot.

“Based on her early statements and corroborating evidence from the paramedics,” MacDonald says, “it was not possible for this witness to see the things she said she saw.”

While MacDonald noted additional mental health assistance can be valuable, he said it isn’t always that simple.

“Here, the goal was to have the two paramedics take [Din] to the hospital. But on arrival, they realized they needed police assistance to do that.”

An autopsy confirmed Din was shot three times after a taser initially used to disable him did not work

The IIO investigates all incidents involving police that result in death or serious harm.