Kelowna Mountie at centre of UBCO wellness check lawsuit faces new accusations

‘Const. Browning and the RCMP have engaged in conduct that is reprehensible and deserves punishment’

A second woman has filed a civil lawsuit against Kelowna Mountie Lacey Browning, accusing the constable of assaulting her while on duty.

The suit filed in BC Supreme Court by Fiona Read on Wednesday, July 15, comes less than a month after security camera footage was released showing Const. Browning dragging UBC Okanagan student Mona Wang down a hallway at her residence and stepping on her head. Wang is suing the RCMP officer, the Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor following the incident.

Read’s allegations date back to the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2016, following a party at her friend’s neighbour’s house.

Read was initially meant to spend the night at her friend’s house but she says she became uncomfortable at the party and began walking back to her friend’s house to gather her things. She had planned to head back to her own house. She claims her friends attempted to stop her from leaving but was eventually allowed to leave.

Leaving her car at her friend’s house, Read began walking home. She came upon an RCMP vehicle and, according to the suit, felt she was “in need of protection” and approached the cruiser to seek help from the officer, who was later identified to be Const. Browning.

Browning asked Read to confirm her first name was Fiona, the suit claims, and upon doing so, “Browning grabbed the plaintiff, flipped her around, grabbed her by her hair and pounded her head into the ground multiple times causing damage to the plaintiff’s face.”

“The plaintiff lost count of how many times her face was slammed into concrete,” reads the suit.

Read claims Browning then cuffed her and pulled her from the ground by her arms which were behind her back. Read was arrested and brought to the RCMP detachment, where she claims she was held for six hours and Browning never asked her a question besides her name.

READ MORE: UBCO student sues Kelowna RCMP officer for alleged assault during wellness check

READ MORE: Protest in support student Mona Wang draws small crowd in Kelowna

Read was fingerprinted and eventually told she was being charged with assault and resisting arrest, though she was never read her rights and the Crown never approved the charges, the claim states.

“Browning charged the plaintiff in order to cover up her assault on the plaintiff,” the suit reads.

Despite arriving at the detachment in “extreme pain and discomfort,” Read claims she was not allowed to be treated by paramedics.

After her discharge, Read went to see a doctor, where her injuries were documented, including her bruised and swollen face, missing chunks of hair and injured right knee.

“As a result of the brutal assault by Browning, the plaintiff had to permanently quit running and skiing due to the severity of the injury to her knee,” the suit states.

“The actions of Browning and the RCMP were reckless, arrogant, high-handed, abusive, and showed a callous disregard to the plaintiff’s rights. Browning and the RCMP have engaged in conduct that is reprehensible and deserves punishment.”

The following day, Read claims she attempted to file a complaint against Browning to her supervisor but they refused to accept it.

“The actions of the supervisor are evidence of the RCMP being complicit in covering up Browning’s assault of the plaintiff,” reads the suit.

The plaintiff only became aware that she had a right to complain and take legal action against Browning’s actions following media reports about recent allegations against Browning and the RCMP’s statements that ‘they take complaints seriously.’”

None of Read’s claims have been proven in court and Browning has not filed a response.

The RCMP has not yet been formally served with the lawsuit but the claims will be reviewed and addressed by the Department of Justice through the normal civil processes, said Staff-Sgt. Janelle Shoihet.

“The allegations are also being reviewed to determine if there are any other actions that need to be taken,” she added.

Browning was placed on administrative leave after criminal and internal investigations were launched related to her actions against Wang.

Shoihet said the criminal investigation into the previous allegations has been completed and is now subject to an external review by the Abbotsford Police Department. Once they have completed their review, and if there are no other investigative requirements, the materials will then be sent to the BC Prosecution Service for charge assessment.

An online petition calling for Browning to be fired and criminally charged has reached nearly 375,000 signatures.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

lawsuitRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Financial fallback plan in place for Mills Memorial replacement

That’s in case province rejects first submission

Local Skeena candidates for the Oct. 24 snap election

Current BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross will be running again, as will Nicole Halbauer for BC NDP

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Most Read