'Those directly involved are being held accountable,' Kelowna's top cop says of recent videos involving police force | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Those directly involved are being held accountable,' Kelowna's top cop says of recent videos involving police force

RCMP Const. Lacy Browning is pictured with UBC Okanagan student Mona Wang in this screen grab from surveillance video. Browning is being sued by Wang.
Image Credit: YOUTUBE
June 24, 2020 - 8:28 AM

Calls to Kelowna RCMP asking that those officers behind recent high profile attacks on citizens caught on video are not going by unnoticed.

Early this morning, the acting officer in charge put out a message reiterating that the video of a nursing student being dragged from her apartment and treated roughly by Const. Lacy Browning on a wellness check was subject to an external investigation. An earlier incident involving Const. Siggy Pietrzak using what some say is excessive force will get the same treatment.

"Both investigations are a priority and we ask for the public to respect that they are underway. Those directly involved are being held accountable," Livingstone said. "We also ask that public refrain from overwhelming the Kelowna RCMP non-emergency phone line with your concerns, so we can ensure that other members of the public can be provided with the assistance they are seeking."

There's currently a social media campaign asking people to call the RCMP and ask for Const. Browning to be terminated.


@bcrcmp @ubc_okanagan

A post shared by UBCO Party Life (@ubcopartylife) on

While the RCMP requests patience, UBC Okanagan's student union is asking for a better way to operate.

In a statement released June 23, the union said they were "shocked and saddened to see the way a UBC Okanagan student was treated by an RCMP officer during a wellness check."

"The systemic problems we see in law enforcement around the world are present in Canadian communities. We condemn the lack of oversight and use of force by RCMP officers in our community and across Canada," reads the statement.

They are asking for a review of UBC protocol for situations where students require immediate mental health support, increased funding for mental health resources and other community supports, an external review of RCMP wellness check protocol, meaningful consequences for RCMP officers who have abused their position of power and greater accountability from all levels of government on issues of police brutality and excessive use of force.

The video has been circulating widely and gaining condemnation in the court of popular opinion.

READ MORE: Civil suit filed in UBCO wellness check case

In it, a woman identified as Mona Wang can be seen 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.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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