RCMP have responded after a nursing student in Kelowna filed a civil claim with the BC Supreme Court stating she was assaulted in her apartment at the hands of an RCMP officer who had come to do a wellness check on her.
In a statement, RCMP Insp. Laura Livingstone, Officer in Charge of the Kelowna RCMP detachment, said an internal Code of Conduct and criminal investigation have been initiated and are ongoing.
The statement comes following the claim filed by Mona Wang, a nursing student at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus (UBCO).
According to the claim, the incident took place January 20 of this year, when Wang was “at her residential address, under mental duress” and her boyfriend had phoned police to request a wellness check on her.
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.
According to the claim, Browning 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.”
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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.
In her response, Livingstone confirmed “that the series of videos from inside a Kelowna residential building were recently disclosed to all parties involved in the civil litigation as per a court order.”
The RCMP, she said, “respects the judicial process and we will continue to respond officially to the allegations made in the civil claim through the courts.”
In the meantime, Livingstone said Browning has “been placed on administrative duties and their duty status will be subject to continual assessment.”