UBCO student union president speaks out on civil suit filed after alleged rough arrest

The student union is now calling for increased mental health support funding for students

The UBC Okanagan Students’ Union is speaking out after a student filed a lawsuit against an RCMP officer, the Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor, alleging she was assaulted during a wellness check.

UBCO student Mona Wang alleges she was assaulted by Const. Lacy Browning while the officer was conducting a wellness check on Wang.

The alleged assault was filmed by a surveillance video taken from inside the student’s on-campus apartment building and the plaintiff’s lawyer is using the video in an attempt to prove the officer used excessive force.

The video shows Browning dragging the handcuffed plaintiff on her stomach out of the apartment, down a carpeted hallway.

The plaintiff alleges she suffered injuries to her face, upper thigh, right breast, sternum and forearms.

Ali Poostizadeh, the students’ union president, said they were shocked and saddened to see how nursing student Mona Wang was treated by the officer.

“The systemic problems we see in law enforcement around the world are present in Canadian communities,” he said in a statement.

“We condemn the lack of oversight and use of force by RCMP officers in our community and across Canada.”

According to Wang’s civil claim, Const. Lacy Browning attended her apartment and found her lying on the floor in a state of semi-consciousness. Wang claims she wasn’t a danger to Browning.

Court documents allege the officer demanded that Wang stand up but when she couldn’t, Browning kicked the plaintiff in the stomach.

The university’s students’ union is calling for changes, including a review of UBC’s protocol when students need immediate mental health support, an increase in mental health support funding, an external review of the RCMP’s wellness check protocol, meaningful consequences for RCMP officers who abuse their power, as well as greater accountability on excessive use of force.

“We will continue to stand up for the safety and well-being of our student members. We believe in holding the government accountable for providing safe and equitable emergency services,” Poostizadeh said.

Browning has filed a response to the civil claim disputing the allegations.

In the response, RCMP stated that Browning acted within the course and scope of her duties as an RCMP officer and did not act with malice. It is also claimed the officer had reasonable and probable grounds for the arrest and temporary detention of the plaintiff. The response alleges the plaintiff acted with volatile demeanour, was aggressive and refused to follow commands and that therefore the limited use of force by the defendant Browning was no more than was reasonable and necessary in the circumstances.

None of these allegations have been proven in court.

Wang’s civil claim is the second one brought against an RCMP officer that alleges aggressive use of force.

READ: UBCO student sues Kelowna RCMP officer for alleged assault during wellness check

READ: Kelowna man sues Mountie, province after viral arrest


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

UBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Princeton ATV rider slapped with numerous charges after complaint of near miss on the KVR

‘I would never defend actions like that’ - Ed Vermette, Princeton ATV Club president

Anarchist Mountain Fire Department extinguishes ‘flaming river’ on Highway 3

Blaze caused by truck that caught fire and leaked diesel across the road

Lower Similkameen Indian Band closes beach near Cawston to non-band members

The COVID-19 crisis “has not gone away” and “remains an ever present threat” says the LSIB

Morning Start: Dogs can smell cancer

Your morning start for Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Shoppers Drug Mart launches in-store virtual service at several B.C. stores

The service is now available in 12 rural B.C. communities and will expand province-wide in August

84-year-old Okanagan resident finishes 12,000-piece puzzle

Willie Tribiger started the puzzle in 2013, completing it in six and a half years

Aces aplenty at Okanagan golf course

Vernon Golf and Country Club has 14 recorded holes-in-one since April 30

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Pilot project will stay in place until Oct. 15

Sad ending in case of missing Okanagan senior

Body of Vernon man Wayne Orser found floating in Okanagan Lake Tuesday, July 7

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read