A Kelowna Mountie at the centre of a high-profile wellness check of a UBCO student has been charged with assault.
The charge against Const. Lacy Browning, in connection to the incident on Jan. 20, 2020, was announced by the BC Prosecution Service on Monday (Aug. 23).
Browning first made headlines after security video emerged showing the officer dragging UBC Okanagan student Mona Wang down a hall and pressing her head to the floor with a boot.
After the surveillance footage emerged, Kelowna RCMP announced a criminal investigation into Browning – which was completed and turned over to the Abbotsford Police Department for an external review last summer.
In August 2020, the Abbotsford police stated there needs to be further investigation by the Kelowna RCMP into the alleged misconduct by one of its members.
Meanwhile, a petition was launched calling for the Kelowna Mountie to be fired and charged with assault. The petition has more than 390,000 signatures.
Wang launched a lawsuit against the Kelowna RCMP last year, alleging an officer left her with significant injuries after the wellness check. In June, B.C. RCMP confirmed the two parties settled but refused to comment stating the details are covered under a confidentiality clause.
“I settled to move on with my life,” Wang said in a written statement at the time.
“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.”
Browning is still facing two other lawsuits, filed shortly after Wang came forward, involving two unrelated incidents.
“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,” Wang concluded.
Browning’s first appearance in court for the assault charge is scheduled for Sept. 14.