A second lawsuit has been launched against embroiled Kelowna RCMP Const. Lacey Browning.
On Wednesday, civil claim documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court claim that Browning assaulted an Okanagan resident during a 2016 arrest, while also disregarding the resident’s charter rights.
Browning is also being sued by a university nursing student, Mona Wang. In that civil claim, Wang says she was assaulted during a mental-health wellness check in January.
Video of the Wang incident was released, with Browning being placed on administrative leave and Kelowna RCMP promising an investigation.
The latest lawsuit claims that the plaintiff, Fiona Louise Read of Westbank, approached and asked Browning for help following a New Year’s Eve party four years ago, only to have her face “slammed into the concrete” multiple times.
According to the court documents, which were filed in Kelowna, Read was attending a house party at a neighbour’s residence and had plans to stay the night at another nearby home.
However, as the night progressed, the plaintiff became uncomfortable and went to the nearby home to collect her things before going home.
“The plaintiff’s friends followed her back to their residence and refused to let the plaintiff leave,” said the notice of claim. “The plaintiff’s friends decided they would seek to stop the plaintiff from leaving, despite the fact the plaintiff was leaving her car and her car keys with friends.”
The notice of claim continued, saying the plaintiff was terrified and confused as to why her friends were preventing her from leaving, though she was eventually allowed to leave her friend’s home.
Upon walking home, Read spotted an RCMP vehicle parked in the middle of the road and approached it.
“The plaintiff felt she was in need of protection and wanted the RCMP to investigate why her friends would not let her leave their home,” said the document.
“Upon approaching the RCMP vehicle, hoping to get some assistance from the RCMP officer, the plaintiff was asked by Browning to confirm if her name was Fiona.”
And that’s when the arrest happened.
“Upon the plaintiff confirming to Browning that her name was Fiona, Browning grabbed the plaintiff, flipped her around, grabbed her by her hair and pounded her head into the ground multiple times, causing damage to the plaintiff’s face,” said the document.
“The plaintiff lost count of how many times her face was slammed into the concrete.”
Read was then cuffed by Browning, “and pulled from the ground by her arms that were behind her back.”
The document said Read suffered an injured knee, bruising and swelling on the left side of her face, and head tenderness. Read said clumps of her hair were pulled out.
The claim also said Read wasn’t allowed to be treated by paramedics, and that upon being released, she went to see a doctor, where her injuries were documented.
“As a result of the brutal assault by Browning, the plaintiff had to permanently quit running and skiing due to the severity of the injury to her knee,” said the claim.
It also said Browning did not ask the plaintiff any questions, other than her name.
“The plaintiff was detained for six hours,” said the claim. “The plaintiff was charged by Browning with resisting arrest and assault. The plaintiff’s fingerprints were taken and she was given a summons to appear to court.
“Browning charged the plaintiff in order to cover up her assault on the plaintiff. The Crown did not approve the charges,” the document said.
In summing up the civil action, the claim said: “as a direct foreseeable and proximate result of the RCMP and Browning’s unlawful actions, the plaintiff suffered emotional distress, humiliation, shame and embarrassment all to the plaintiff’s damage.”
The lawsuit also includes the Attorney General of Canada and B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
The claim says Read made a formal complaint to Browning’s direct supervisor, but “the supervisor refused to accept the plaintiff’s complaint and advised the plaintiff that the actions by Browning were justified; notwithstanding that photos of the plaintiff’s injuries were recorded at the RCMP detachment.”
In an email to Global News, the RCMP said the allegations are being reviewed.
Regarding the Wang lawsuit, the RCMP said: “the criminal investigation into the previous allegations has been completed and is now subject to an external review by the Abbotsford Police Department.”
The email also said once Abbotsford police complete the review, the material will then be sent to the B.C. Prosecution Service for charge assessment.
It also noted that Browning remains on administrative leave.
None of the claims have been proven in court.