Justice for Mona Wang rallies to be held in Kelowna, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver - InfoNews

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Justice for Mona Wang rallies to be held in Kelowna, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver

Justice for Mona protests will be held around the province next week.
Image Credit: INSTAGRAM
July 04, 2020 - 9:13 AM

The UBC Okanagan student who was dragged from her apartment by a Mountie called in for a wellness check is getting support from far beyond Kelowna, where the incident happened.

Justice for Mona Wang rallies will be held July 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Kelowna, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver. Another rally is being held in Calgary today.

“Show your support and protest for better wellness checks and accountability for police misconduct,” reads the notice for the event.

Masks are required.

“It would mean so much to me if you guys came out and showed your support,” Wang said on the notice for the event.

The video that has been circulating widely shows Wang, with hands cuffed behind her back, being dragged on her stomach down a hallway of her Academy Way apartment building by an RCMP officer identified as Const. Lacy Browning.

Once in the lobby, the officer can be seen at one point stepping on Wang's head then later lifting it. They appear to have a conversation and eventually, Wang is lifted up and walks with Const. Browning from the building.

While the video was only released this week, the matter has been making its way through the courts since March 26 when Wang filed a civil lawsuit addressing the Jan. 20 incident. The RCMP responded earlier this month.

Wang's lawsuit indicates she was in distress and was abused in her moment of need by the very people who are supposed to protect her, while the RCMP says the officer at the centre of the controversy was doing her job as expected, given Wang's erratic behaviour which included what appears to be a suicide attempt and "asking to be killed" by the officer.

The video has prompted a call for more nursing resources to accompany police to wellness checks. But the call may go unheeded.

“That model isn’t, perhaps, the most effective use of that registered nurse’s time,” Karen Bloemink, vice-president for clinical operations for Interior Health, north, told iNFOnews.ca, July 3. “It may be more effective to have that registered nurse embedded in a team-based model of service where the care is delivered in a proactive and an upstream way to, hopefully, have the preventative impact that we would like to see over the long term for individuals that have mental health needs.”

Her comments came one day after RCMP Southeast Division Chief Supt. Brad Haugli called on Interior Health to assess all mental health calls for assistance and about a week after Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said his calls for an expansion to the PACT program were being held up by Interior Health not supplying more staff.

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