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(UPDATE: June 23 @2:45 pm) - The Kelowna RCMP has provided a statement after a video was released in relation to a civil claim filed against an officer.
"I wanted to ensure that everyone was aware that we understand and respect the concerns raised by the recent release of video connected with a January 2020 Kelowna file," said Insp. Laura Livingstone, Acting OIC of Kelowna RCMP.
"Once we received the videos the materials were reviewed immediately specifically as it relates to the police officer’s actions. As a result of the review, we can confirm that an internal Code of Conduct and criminal investigation were initiated and they are ongoing."
According to a spokesperson for the department, the officer in the incident has been put on administrative duties and that the status of their duty status is "subject to continual assessment."
"We understand that a series of videos related to the ongoing civil matter were recently disclosed to all parties as per a court order," said the RCMP.
"The RCMP respects the judicial process and we will file our official response as per the civil proceedings. We have reviewed the materials and the allegations as it relates to the police officer's actions."
(Original story: June 23 @ 11:20 am):
A Kelowna woman has filed a civil claim against a Kelowna RCMP officer for an alleged assault during what was supposed to be a health check.
A civil claim filed with the BC Supreme Court states that Mona Wang, a nursing student at UBCO, was at her apartment on Jan. 20, 2020 and was experiencing mental distress. Her boyfriend contacted emergency services and requested a mental health check for her.
Lacy Browning, an officer with the Kelowna RCMP, responded to the call. Browning’s conduct is described in the claim as “abusive and repetitive in the extreme.”
Video provided by Michael Patterson, Wang's lawyer, shows the incident on surveillance footage in the apartment building hallway and lobby.
The civil claim says that Browning entered the apartment, and at that time Wang was not acting in a manner that would cause Browning to be in fear for her own safety.
The claim further alleges that Browning did not identify herself as an RCMP officer to Wang, nor did she attempt to assess whether or not Wang required medical attention.
It continues, saying that when Browning demanded that Wang stand and she did not, the officer stood on Wang’s arm and then kicked her in the stomach while she was on the bathroom floor semi-conscious.
Browning then told Wang to “stop being dramatic.” The claim also alleges that the officer said other things, like “control your fucking dog, don’t make me hurt him,” and “stupid idiot.”
It is also alleged by Wang that Browning dragged her to the elevator while punching her in the face.
Browning put her in custody and Wang was transported to Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), but the officer did not advise the staff of why she was detained.
Browning also “deliberately misled medical professionals at KGH by advising them that the plaintiff was high on Methamphetamine,” the claim said, adding that Wang has never used the drug and that a toxicology report done at the hospital showed no illegal drugs in her system.
However, in a response to the claim, the RCMP officer gave a different account of the events, describing the subject as “combative,” and behaving in a “bizarre and erratic manner.”
The response has denied that Browning misled medical professionals at KGH, or that Wang’s injuries were a result of the officer’s actions.
The officer also claims to have believed that Wang was a “danger to her own safety.”
The response says that the officer responded to the call after the RCMP were informed that Wang had become unresponsive to text messages, and had a history of suicide attempts by ingesting medication.
According to the account, Browning made several attempts to contact Wang through the building’s intercom system, and also knocked on the apartment door while identifying herself as police. Browning then claims to have entered the apartment, identifying herself as an RCMP officer in a loud voice.
The response states that Wang was lying on the bathroom floor with a boxcutter in one hand and two empty pill bottles beside her that contain melatonin and acetaminophen. Additionally, there was a half empty bottle of wine near her, says the response.
Browning then claims to have attempted to disarm Wang and remove the boxcutter from her hand, however she claims that the dog bagan to attack her and she was forced to lock the animal in the bedroom.
The claim continues, saying that Browning returned to the bathroom and repeatedly asked Wang to wake up, with no response despite her eyes being open.
Due to the alcohol and medication that Browning believed Wang ingested, she claimed to have performed a sternum rub, which resulted in Wang fully opening her eyes and yelling. After sitting up, the officer claims that Wang kept one hand obscured behind her back and kept asking to be killed.
Browning decided that Wang was a danger and apprehended her under the Mental Health Act. According to the officer, the subject refused to cooperate. Browning then “struck the plaintiff with an open palm” in order to place her in handcuffs.
Browning then put Wang in the police vehicle and transported her to KGH.
NowMedia has reached out the Kelowna RCMP for comment, but no response was given before the time of this publishing.
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