High-profile investigation into caught-on-camera B.C. wellness check sent back to RCMP
VANCOUVER -- A high-profile criminal probe into the actions of a Mountie caught on video dragging a woman through an apartment building and stepping on her head is being sent back to the RCMP for further investigation.
Surveillance video shows nursing student Mona Wang wearing only a bra and leggings during the encounter in Kelowna in January, which began with RCMP officer Lacy Browning being dispatched to perform a wellness check on her.
“I get nightmares from what happened. And I do have a lot of emotional and mental stresses from what happened,” said Wang. “It’s hard seeing myself on the worst day of my life and that being spread around. It’s definitely an important conversation but it doesn’t make it easy.”
Wang has a civil suit on the go against Browning and there is also a criminal investigation, initially led by her RCMP colleagues, and then handed over to the Abbotsford Police Department for review.
Those in charge of that review have now referred the matter back to the RCMP.
“I can confirm the matter has been reviewed by Abbotsford police and has been returned to the RCMP with further investigation required,” said B.C. RCMP Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoiet. “We are conducting the necessary follow up. I have no diary date with respect to when this will be completed.”
Former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed calls the move extremely unusual.
“These are senior investigators that were looking at this,” he said. “We have to question their investigative skills, if in fact, during a high profile case like this that concerns one of their officers, that they missed some investigative steps.”
Both he and Wang question the integrity of the investigation if it wasn’t thoroughly handled from the beginning.
As difficult as it is, Wang says she won’t back down from the civil case or any potential criminal proceedings.
“I just really want some justice so something like this doesn’t happen again, either at the hands of Browning or another police officer. I just want to see some real change,” she said.
Neither Abbotsford police not the B.C. RCMP will say what prompted the unusual twist in this high profile case.