Four BC demonstrations are being organized to support and stand in solidarity with Mona Wang, following the release a video showing the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) nursing student appearing to be handcuffed, assaulted, and dragged through a hallway by a police officer called to conduct a wellness check.
According to an Instagram post to Wang’s account, protests are being organized in Vancouver, Richmond, Kelowna, and Surrey on Saturday, July 11, at 1 to 3 pm PT.
“Show your support and protest for better wellness check and accountability for police misconduct,” the poster reads.
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Titled “Justice for Mona,” the protests are taking place in prominent locations throughout each respective city. Richmond’s protest will be held in Minoru Park, Stuart Park in Kelowna, and outside the RCMP headquarters in Surrey.
Vancouver will see the protest in Art Gallery Plaza. Wang has said she’ll be in attendance.
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In a statement, RCMP Insp. Laura Livingstone, the officer in charge of the Kelowna RCMP detachment, said an internal Code of Conduct and criminal investigation have been initiated and are ongoing.
While the incident reportedly occurred in winter, the release of the video and a claim filed by Wang against the police force only recently shone a light on the events.
According to the claim, on January 20, Wang was “at her residential address, under mental duress” and her boyfriend had phoned police to request a wellness check on her, an officer arrived.
The claim states that RCMP Cpl. Lacey Browning was the officer who attended to Wang’s residence, and it names Browning as a defendant in the claim.
Browning is said to have entered Wang’s apartment, did not identify herself as being with the RCMP, and found Wang lying on the bathroom floor “in a state of semi consciousness.”
The claim states that Wang did not pose a threat to Browning, nor did she behave in a way that would “cause Browning to be in fear of her safety.”
The claim states that Browning did not make any attempt to assess Wang for medical assistance but instead “demanded” that she stand up. Wang was unable to stand on her own at this point and therefore did not respond to Browning’s command.
According to the claim, Browning then proceeded to assault Wang by stepping on her arm and kicking her in the stomach while she was lying on the floor.
Browning allegedly continued to assault Wang while calling her a “stupid idiot” and shouting at her to “stop being dramatic.” Brown then handcuffed Wang and “dragged her on her stomach” from the bathroom and through the carpeted hallway of the apartment building, and to the elevator “while punching the Plaintiff in her face.”
A security camera in the apartment building captured moments of the interaction.
These combined actions left injuries on Wang’s face and upper thigh, abrasions to her right breast, bruising over the sternum and bruising over the forearms.
According to the claim, Browning then took Wang to the hospital, where she “deliberately misled” medical staff by telling them that Wang was high on methamphetamine. Wang states in her claim that she has never done meth or any other illicit drugs, and at the time of her admission to the hospital, toxicology tests showed no signs of illegal drugs in her body or bloodstream.
As a result of the incident, Wang states that she has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, shame, as well as psychological and emotional trauma.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.