RCMP says a settlement reached in university student's lawsuit against B.C. officer

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KELOWNA, B.C. — The RCMP say a settlement has been reached in a civil lawsuit filed last year by a university student who claimed she was injured by a police officer who was supposed to be doing a health check in Kelowna, B.C.

Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet says in a statement the details of the settlement between Const. Lacey Browning and Mona Wang, who was a nursing student at the University of British Columbia at the time, are confidential.

The statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court last March alleges that Wang was injured during a police check conducted by Browning in January 2020.

The lawsuit said Wang's boyfriend called the RCMP to request the welfare check and alleges that Browning's conduct was "abusive" after the officer found the student lying in a state of semi-consciousness in her apartment.

Statements of defence filed by Browning, the Attorney General of Canada and B.C.'s minister of public safety and solicitor general denied any wrongdoing.

The defendants said the officer used no more force than was reasonable and necessary.

A statement of defence also alleges the student began yelling and swinging her arms at Browning, who proceeded to strike Wang with an open palm in order to subdue and arrest her under the Mental Health Act.

Wang could not be reached for comment but Global News reported she issued a statement to the news organization confirming that a settlement had been reached in the lawsuit.

Surveillance video taken from inside an apartment building, which was disclosed by court order as part of the lawsuit, shows a female RCMP officer dragging a woman face-first down a carpeted hallway and stepping on her head while waiting in a lobby.

Shoihet says a criminal investigation into Browning's alleged actions has been sent to the BC Prosecution Service for charge assessment and the officer is assigned to administrative duties while an internal code of conduct probe is ongoing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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