The RCMP officer seen on video dragging a handcuffed woman on the ground, stepping on her head, and pulling her hair during a wellness check has been charged with assault.
Surveillance footage from January 2020 showed Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Lacy Browning dragging University of British Columbia Okanagan student Mona Wang out of her apartment to the building’s entrance. Browning put her foot on the back of Wang’s head while she was handcuffed and lying on the ground at her feet, the video shows; she also pulled Wang’s hair, lifting her head off the ground, and appeared to say something to her.
On Monday, the B.C. Prosecution Service announced Browning is being charged with assault. She is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 14.
The footage was published by Castanet in June 2020, after Wang filed a lawsuit against the RCMP, which has since been settled. In the lawsuit, Wang, a nursing student, alleged Browning showed up in response to a wellness check requested by Wang’s boyfriend.
Wang alleged Browning kicked her in the stomach, stepped on her arm, and called her a “stupid idiot.” The lawsuit says Browning left Wang with “bruises to the face, broken blood vessels to the left eye, swollen right eye, and bruising to the right temple.”
The lawsuit claims Browning said Wang was high on meth at the hospital, but her toxicology reports showed she had no drugs in her system.
After the footage became public, Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli, commander of the B.C. RCMP’s southeast district, apologized to Wang during a press conference.
“I am very sorry to Miss Wang for what occurred,” he said, adding he’d like to see a nurse paired up with a police officer for every mental health call.
Wellness checks carried out by police have come under scrutiny in the last year. In Canada, a number of people have been killed during wellness checks and mental health calls, including Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto and Chantel Moore in New Brunswick. Neither of those cases resulted in charges against police.
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