A petition calling for a Kelowna RCMP officer to be fired and charged with assault has accumulated more than 337,000 signatures as of Tuesday evening.
The Change.org petition was started after video surveillance surfaced showing Const. Lacy Browning dragging UBC Okanagan nursing student Mona Wang down a carpeted hallway in January.
The officer can also be seen stepping on Wang’s head and then, a minute later, pulling her head up by her hair.
Browning responded to the scene after Wang’s boyfriend had called RCMP for a wellness check.
Wang has since filed a lawsuit against Browning, the federal attorney general and B.C.’s public safety minister, who is responsible for the actions of RCMP in the province.
In civil court documents, the defendants say that the “limited use of force by the defendant Browning was no more than was reasonable and necessary in the circumstances.”
However, Browning has since been put on administrative duty and a criminal investigation has been initiated.
“I’m sure we can all agree that the use of force that Wang was subjected to was definitely neither ‘limited’ nor ‘reasonable’ or ‘necessary’,” the petition organizer wrote.
The petition calls for Browning to be fired and charged with assault.
“We need to do better for our citizens struggling with their mental health,” it says.
“They should be met with trained professionals, not uniformed officers. The most vulnerable people in our communities should not be dragged down hallways, pulled by the hair, and stepped on in their times of need.”