KELOWNA, British Columbia (AP) — A nursing student alleges she suffered physical and emotional injuries at the hands of an Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer after her boyfriend called emergency services to request a health check.
Mona Wang alleges Cpl. Lacey Browning’s conduct was “abusive and repetitive in the extreme″ after the officer found Wang lying in a state of semi-consciousness on the floor of her apartment Jan. 20.
Surveillance video that surfaced as part of the lawsuit shows a female officer dragging a woman face-first down a carpeted hallway and stepping on her head while waiting in a lobby.
Wang, who studies at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, claims she suffered cuts, bruises and a swollen eye as a result of the alleged assault. She also says Browning did not attempt to assess whether she needed medical assistance.
“The plaintiff has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, shame, and embarrassment, psychological and emotional trauma,″ says a statement of claim filed March 26 in British Columbia Supreme Court.
In a statement of defense filed with the court June 15, Browning, Canada’s attorney general and British Columbia’s minister of public safety and solicitor general deny any wrongdoing. All three are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Their statement says the officer found Wang lying on the floor with a box cutter in her hand and empty bottles of acetaminophen, melatonin and wine nearby. It alleges the student began yelling and swinging her arms at Browning, who proceeded to strike Wang with an open palm to subdue and arrest her under the Mental Health Act. The defendants assert Browning used no more force than was reasonable and necessary.
RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Janelle Shoihet would not release the identity of the officer in the video, but said the Mountie is on administrative duties. In an email, Shoihet says an internal investigation is underway, and the Mounties will ask an outside police department to review the findings.