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

In photos and video: Colourful Canada Day parade rolls through Sicamous

Patriotic procession allows community to celebrate together while maintaining distance

RCMP find Shuswap man with replica weapon in breach of conditions

Chase resident ticketed for driving with inactive licence plates

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Popular Shuswap cross-country running event postponed

Region’s Lewiston Ultra on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic

Evacuation alert issued for Ravenscroft property

A single-family property has been put under evacuation alert due to land slippage and bank erosion

North Okanagan man gives back for Canada Day

Food packages given away to those living on the streets in Vernon

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Okanagan mine makes way for industrial project

Council holds a special meeting to rezone property

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Water floods North Okanagan skate park, playground

Polson Park remains closed following Tuesday storms

Two rescued from tipped sailboat in Okanagan Lake near Kelowna

The two men were quickly brought to shore by a marine rescue crew

Most Read