Blue Line

Mountie pleads guilty to assault on student in Kelowna, B.C., during wellness check

November 9, 2022  By The Canadian Press

Nov. 9, 2022, Kelowna, B.C. – A British Columbia woman who was assaulted by an RCMP officer during a wellness check says she’s glad the officer has taken accountability for the damage she caused nearly three years ago.

Kelowna RCMP officer Const. Lacy Browning pleaded guilty to one count of assault on what was supposed to be the first day of her trial on Monday.

Browning was accused of punching Mona Wang and dragging the University of British Columbia student from her apartment in January 2020 after Wang’s boyfriend called police asking them to check on her.

Wang said Tuesday that she’s glad justice has prevailed.


“Throughout all this time, I’ve had to really advocate for myself and I know that I’m really privileged to be able to have my voice heard like this,” she said.

“And unfortunately, many people who have gone through the same thing will never be able to get the justice that they deserve.”

Surveillance video taken from inside an apartment building, which was disclosed as part of a civil lawsuit filed by Wang, shows the RCMP officer dragging Wang by the arms face down along a carpeted hallway, then stepping on her head in the lobby.

Statements of defence filed in the civil lawsuit from Browning, the Attorney General of Canada and B.C.’s solicitor general denied any wrongdoing, saying the officer used no more force than was reasonable and necessary.

The civil lawsuit was settled out of court and details remain confidential.

Wang said she believes Browning should be fired from the RCMP.

“Ever since I experienced that assault my goal was always that she wouldn’t be allowed to harm anyone else,” she said.

In a statement, B.C. RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts said Browning is on administrative duties. The RCMP is aware of her guilty plea and waiting for the judge’s sentence, she said.

A separate internal code of conduct investigation “remains ongoing and nearing completion,” Roberts said.

In the years since the assault, Wang said she has received the help she needed, graduated from her nursing program and now works as registered nurse in psychiatry.

She said her work is rewarding and her personal experience with mental illness and the police has influenced how she is with patients.

“I think a lot of the time, they often are the victims of abuse, whether it’s with the political system or with the police force,” she said.

“I think after having this personal experience with the police, I can recognize a lot of the trauma and PTSD that stems from my patients’ experiences with the police.”

Wang said she wants people to fight the stigma around mental illness and be “active bystanders” if they see an altercation with police, by recording or speaking up about what they see.

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