A still taken from a surveillance video being used in a civil suit filed against the Kelowna RCMP.

Investigation into Kelowna Mountie at centre of UBCO wellness check lawsuit wraps up

The Abbotsford Police Department will now conduct an external review of the investigation

The criminal investigation into Kelowna RCMP officer Const. Lacey Browning has wrapped up and has now been forwarded to the Abbotsford Police Department for an external review.

The investigation into Browning was launched after a civil suit was filed against her, alleging she used excessive force during a wellness check. Mona Wang, the UBCO student who filed the suit, alleged she suffered injuries to her face, upper thigh, right breast, sternum and her forearms. Surveillance footage of the incident was released, showing an officer, alleged to be Browning, dragging Wang facedown along the carpeted apartment hallway then the officer using a boot to push the student’s head down.

Browning was placed on administrative duty once the civil claim was made public and the investigation was launched.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said now, the investigation is subject to an external review by the Abbotsford Police Department.

“Once they have completed their review, and if there are no other investigative requirements, the materials will then be sent to the B.C. Prosecution Service for charge assessment,” she said.

There is no timeline on how long the external review will be or how long the prosecution service will take to decide whether or not to lay charges.

A second woman has filed a civil suit against Browning, accusing the constable of assaulting her while on duty. The suit was filed on July 15, and Shoihet said they have not been served yet.

“We understand that a new civil claim has been filed and deals with allegations from an incident in January 2016 that was not previously reported to the RCMP,” she said.

“While we have not been formally served, typically what happens is that once served, the civil matter will be reviewed and addressed by the Department of Justice through the normal civil processes.”

Shoihet added the allegations in the new claim are now being reviewed to see if additional actions need to be taken.

In the lawsuit, Fiona Read alleges she was leaving a friend’s house after a party in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2016 when she felt unsafe and approached an RCMP vehicle to seek help, identified to be Browning.

Read alleges Browning grabbed her, flipped her around, grabbed her by the hair and pounded her head into the ground multiple times.

The new allegations have not been proven in court.

READ: Kelowna Mountie at centre of UBCO wellness check lawsuit faces new accusations

READ: Protest in support of student Mona Wang draws small crowd in Kelowna


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

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