'We'd like to get justice': Siblings of man fatally shot by RCMP call for charges
VANCOUVER -- Brothers and sisters of Kyaw Din stood solemnly Thursday outside the Surrey office tower that houses the Independent Investigations Office, holding enlarged, laminated photos of Din.
The Maple Ridge man was shot and killed by RCMP on Aug. 11, 2019, and the IIO has been investigating the circumstances ever since.
Now Din’s relatives have delivered a signed petition to the office, part of which calls for charges to be recommended against the officers involved. Din’s sister, Yin Yin, said her brother had schizophrenia, and on the day he died, she had called police to help take him to the hospital - something the family had done before.
"He liked the police. He admired the police and he always said 'I like going to hospital with the police,'" she said, and added she had asked the officers to wait for her other siblings to arrive so they could translate for Din, who spoke Burmese and understood only a little English. "If they hadn’t ignored my request not to enter his room, but waited for my brother and sister’s arrival...my brother Kyaw would be alive today."
The RCMP initially reported Din had a knife, and said a Taser was also deployed, unsuccessfullly. Din’s sister said all he had in his room was a small paring knife for peeling fruit, and his family does not believe he would have attacked police.
"Today is his 55th birthday and he is not here with us anymore," she said. "We would like to get justice for our brother Kyaw."
Din’s brother Thant Din said he was five minutes away from the house when the shooting took place.
"It’s over six months now. We never hear who shot my brother, we don’t know who the police officer is, we don’t know that those police officer are still performing their duty. We have no clue," he said. "We need a true answer. Why?"
The family members delivered the petition to Gayle Hogan, chief of investigations at the IIO, who explained the chief civilian director, Ron MacDonald, who will ultimately make a decision about the file, was away.
Speaking to CTV News Vancouver, Hogan said they understand the family and others involved want to know what happened.
"We have a robust process in relation to ensuring the rigour of the investigation, that it’s fair, it’s transparent, it is objective, and it is as thorough as possible," Hogan said. "It’s not something that can be done really really quickly."
Din’s siblings said they also want to know the names of the officers involved, but Hogan said her office isn’t able to release that kind of information due to the Privacy Act.
Ridge Meadows RCMP media relations officer Const. Julie Klaussner told CTV in an email the officers who were involved in the shooting are back working in their regular duties. Klaussner said the RCMP could not comment further on the incident, due to the ongoing IIO investigation.
Hogan told Din’s family they would receive an update on how the investigation is going by March 20.