A British Columbia woman assaulted by a Kelowna Mountie during a wellness check more than three years ago says she’s disappointed the officer received a conditional discharge and probation this week, calling the sentencing “a slap on the wrist.”
Mona Wang was a nursing student at the University of B.C.’s Okanagan campus in January 2020, when Const. Lacy Browning dragged her from her apartment after Wang’s boyfriend asked police to check on her well-being.
Surveillance video disclosed as part of a civil lawsuit filed by Wang shows Browning dragging Wang by the arms face down along a carpeted hallway, then stepping on her head in the lobby.
The BC Prosecution Service has confirmed that Browning was handed a conditional discharge and was placed on probation for two years during Monday’s hearing after pleading guilty to one count of assault in November 2022.
Browning must also complete 160 hours of community service over the first year, and a $200 “victim fine surcharge” was also imposed.
Wang said her case wasn’t isolated, and she hopes the RCMP will remove Browning from service, calling her “a dangerous individual.”
Wang said she feels for Browning after hearing about her “compassion fatigue” in a Gladue report, a pre-sentencing submission to a court when an offender has an Indigenous background.
But that was no excuse for violence.
“If she was struggling with compassion and empathy in her role as a police officer, it was very irresponsible that she continued to work,” Wang said.
Dawn Roberts, director of communications for the B.C. RCMP, said Browning remains on the job and has been placed on administrative duties, though her status is subject to continual review while the Mounties complete a code-of-conduct investigation.
The prosecution service says if Browning completes all the terms of the discharge, she will not have a conviction or a criminal record.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2023.