The BC Prosecution Service announced on Monday that a Kelowna Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer has been charged with one count of assault after a wellness check left a nursing student injured. The incident involved Mona Wang who was seen on video getting dragged face down by Const. Lacy Browning from her UBC-Okanagan student apartment after her boyfriend called a wellness check on her on January 20, 2020. Additionally, the video caught Browning stepping on Wang’s head even though she was handcuffed.
The assault charge comes after a settlement was reached between the B.C. RCMP and Mona Wang on June 2021.
According to the lawsuit, Lacy Browning found Wang in her apartment’s bathroom floor. The lawsuit said that Browning didn’t provide medical assistance and instead asked Browning to get up. However, Wang couldn’t according to the lawsuit. That’s when Browning stepped on Wang’s arm and kicked her in the stomach while shouting “stop being dramatic,” according to the lawsuit, reports Castanet. Wang was soon cuffed and dragged outside.
In the video, Browning can be seen lifting Wang’s head by pulling her hair and stepping on her head. Wang said she suffered from bruising, swelling, and cuts.
“As a direct, foreseeable and proximate result of Browning’s reckless and unlawful actions, the plaintiff has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, shame and embarrassment, psychological and emotional trauma,” the lawsuit said.
Cpl. Lacy Browning, on the other hand, denied she used excessive force. Browning said Wang had a history of suicide attempts and she found empty pill bottles and an empty wine bottle near Wang who was lying on the floor. Furthermore, she said she found Wang with a box-cutter in her hand and cuts on her chest and arm.
Browning said Wang was unresponsive at first but became combative. According to Browning, Wang started to yell that she wanted to be killed. That’s when Browning struck Wang with an open palm several times which helped Browning handcuff Wang.
“The limited use of force by the defendant Browning was no more than was reasonable and necessary in the circumstances to both direct compliance as well as protect the plaintiff from further harm,” the defendant’s legal response stated.
Browning detained Wang under the Mental Health Act. Wang was taken to Kelowna General Hospital after she was dragged out of her apartment.
The incident left Wang with bruises and abrasions to her head and body.
After Wang’s lawsuit was settled, Wang said she felt that it was a compromise but she didn’t feel justice was served unless Browning was reprimanded. Now, after the assault charge was announced she said she’s “grateful”
“I’m very happily surprised this has happened because I heard of so many cases where people do not get their justice,” Wang said. “I’m very grateful that she is charged and I long for the days where she is convicted of her charges.”
Const. Lacy Browning has been assigned to administrative duties during the investigation. Browning makes her first appearance on September 14th.