A civil lawsuit against the RCMP has been settled, according to the B.C. university student who made national headlines last year following a wellness check.
Surveillance video of the incident, which went viral, showed a handcuffed Mona Wang being dragged, face-down, on a carpeted hallway by a Kelowna RCMP officer before having her head stepped on.
The wellness check happened in January 2020. However, the video wasn’t released until six months later, when Wang, a nursing student at UBC Okanagan, initiated the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed against Const. Lacey Browning, Canada’s attorney general and B.C.’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, who is responsible for the actions of the RCMP.
In a statement to Global News, Mona Wang said, “the settlement was a compromise, which means no one got exactly what they wanted.”
She continued, saying “I settled to move on with my life. Despite this, I expect the justice system to do what is right by taking steps to ensure that Lacey Browning is not allowed to continue acting as an RCMP member. She is a disgrace to the RCMP with a history of assaulting vulnerable people, and she will not stop.”
The statement also said, “many individuals who have experienced assault by the RCMP are suffering in silence — not only from the trauma, but also the lack of access to justice. My case was settled because a lawyer stopped for five minutes to listen to my complaint and believed me.
“I am grateful that there are lawyers out there that will listen, and I will watch and see if I will get complete justice by Lacey Browning being convicted for the inhumane assault that I suffered.”
The statement concluded “if there is anything to take away from my story, it is to treat each other with kindness and reach out for help if you need it. You are not alone, and you deserve happiness.”
Shortly after the lawsuit was announced, the RCMP initiated an internal Code of Conduct and criminal investigation. Browning was placed on administrative duty.
According to the civil claim, on Jan. 20, Wang was at home in mental distress, so her boyfriend called 911 and asked for a health check.
The lawsuit said Browning responded to the call and found Wang lying on the bathroom floor in a state of semi-consciousness.
Also according to the civil suit, Browning did not introduce herself as an RCMP officer or make any attempt to assess if Wang needed any medical assistance.
The lawsuit claims that the RCMP officer told Wang to stand up, but she couldn’t, and so didn’t respond.
“Browning proceeded to assault the plaintiff by stepping on the plaintiff’s arm,” the lawsuit alleges. “Browning kicked the plaintiff in the stomach while the plaintiff was lying on the bathroom floor semi-conscious.”
The civil suit also claims that Browning told Wang to “stop being dramatic” and called her a “stupid idiot.”
Global News reached out to the B.C. RCMP for comment.
In response, the RCMP confirmed that a settlement has been reached, but said no statement will be forthcoming, adding details of the settlement are covered under a confidentiality clause.
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