Okanagan woman files second lawsuit against Kelowna RCMP officer

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Okanagan woman files second lawsuit against Kelowna RCMP officer – Jul 23, 2020

It was a walk home Fiona Read will never forget.

On Jan. 1, 2016, Read said she left a house party in the Okanagan late at night, although a friend had tried to stop her from leaving.

Then a cop car pulled up beside her, she said.

“As soon as I saw it, I crossed over into the middle of the road, thinking ‘thank goodness somebody is here’,” Read said.

Read more: B.C. RCMP officer who dragged woman in wellness check faces new lawsuit

“And all she asked me was ‘Are you Fiona?’” Read said, adding that she told the officer yes.

“And the next thing I know, she flipped me around, and I’m face-down with my hair being pulled at the back and being bashed into the road.”

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The West Kelowna woman alleges that she was then handcuffed and taken to the Kelowna detachment where she spent six hours in a cell.

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“I’m just in shock because I don’t know what’s happening to me. I’ve never been in trouble in my life,” she said.

Read said she was charged with resisting arrest and assault.

The charges were later dropped, she added.

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“I didn’t do anything to instigate, and I don’t know what a person could do to instigate getting their head smashed into the ground,” she said.

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Read said her knee was severely injured during the alleged assault.

She said she later learned that the police officer was Const. Lacy Browning, who is the same cop that dragged UBC Okanagan student Mona Wang down the hallway during a wellness check.

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“It just brought it all back, and broke my heart,” Read said of watching the video of Wang.

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Mona Wang extended interview after police apology – Jul 2, 2020

“It made me feel that this did happen to me: that this person was capable of doing this,” she added.

Read more: UBC Okanagan student in disturbing wellness check video calls moment dehumanizing, embarrassing

Watching that video prompted Read to step forward with her story.

She’s now filed a civil lawsuit against B.C.’s public safety minister, the federal attorney general and Browning.

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“I don’t think she should ever be a police officer again. I don’t see how there’s any forgiveness,” Read said.

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Read said she did try to make a formal complaint at the time but was ignored by Browning’s RCMP supervisor.

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“I was just told ‘absolutely no, we’re not listening to your story, and you have nothing to say, and we know what happened’,” Read said.

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Read said she’s lost trust in the RCMP because of the way she was treated when she turned to them for help.

“For a long time, it’s just seeing a police vehicle. You just start trembling and go into panic again, you don’t know, it could be broad daylight,” Read said.

In an email, RCMP said Browning is now on administrative leave.

“The allegations are under review and the formal response will be addressed by the Department of Justice through the civil process,” Cpl. Chris Manseau said.

Read more: Demonstrators shout, demand ‘Justice for Mona’ at protest rally in Kelowna

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The defendants in the case have not filed a response to Read’s claim.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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