A protest in support of a UBC Okanagan student, who was dragged and stepped on by an officer after the RCMP was called to check on her wellbeing, is planned for Surrey Saturday afternoon.
The Surrey rally will be taking place at RCMP E Division Headquarters (14200 Green Timbers Way) from 1 to 3 p.m. on July 11.
There are coinciding rallies planned at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Richmond’s Minoru Park and Kelowna’s Stuart Park.
The rallies are in response to the “shocking, saddening and traumatizing video footage” of a Kelowna RCMP Constable Lacey Browning dragging UBCO student Mona Wang down a hall and pressing her head to the floor with a boot during a wellness check.
Wang launched a civil lawsuit in March alleging Browning had assaulted her in January and a video of the incident was recently made public.
The alleged assault was filmed by a surveillance video taken from inside the student’s apartment building and the plaintiff’s lawyer is using the video in an attempt to prove the officer used excessive force.
The claim alleges that Mona Wang was at her apartment on Jan. 20 when her boyfriend called police and asked them to provide a health check on Wang, claiming she was under mental distress.
According to court documents, Const. Lacy Browning attended Wang’s apartment and found the student lying on the floor in a state of semi-consciousness. The plaintiff claims she was not a danger to Browning and did not act in a manner that would cause the RCMP officer to fear for their own safety.
The court documents state Browning did not identify herself as an RCMP officer or provide any medical assistance to Wang.
It’s alleged Browning demanded Wang stand up and as she could not stand on her own, the officer then kicked the plaintiff in the stomach.
Masks will be mandatory at the protests due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the poster.
While addressing the surveillance video showing the incident on Thursday, July 2, BC RCMP Southeast District commander Brad Haugli apologized to Wang.
“I am sorry to Ms. Wang for what occurred. If that was my family member or friend I would want answers as well,” he said.
A petition calling for Browning to be fired and criminally charged with assault has nearly 360,000 signees.
– With files from Michael Rodriguez, Jen Zielinski