69.8 F
Washington D.C.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Advertisement

Questions raised over lengthy investigations into Kelowna Mounties’ conduct

Must Read


Two Kelowna RCMP officers caught on camera in concerning incidents faced lengthy investigations into their conduct.

Const. Lacy Browning is still under investigation for dragging UBC Okanagan student Mona Wang handcuffed down a hallway, pulling her hair and pushing her face down with her boot.

“It’s still lingering in the back of my head, and I’m at a point where I just want to kind of move on,” Wang said.

“I’m still suffering from what she did to me. And I think it’s something I’m just going to have to live with.”

Read more:
‘I will not be the last,’ B.C. nursing student dragged, stepped on by RCMP tells rally

The wellness check was carried out in January 2020.

Story continues below advertisement

In a response to a civil claim filed by Wang, B.C.’s attorney general and Browning said the officer “was acting in the course and scope of her duties.”

After the video of the incident surfaced, RCMP promised swift action on the file in July.

Read more:
B.C. RCMP seeking identity of potential witnesses in Mona Wang wellness-check video

“I am anticipating we will have a report to crown completed and advanced the Crown counsel by mid-July,” Chief Supt. Brad Haugli said during a news conference at the time. “And we will provide an update to you when that is done.”

After conducting an external review of the file, Abbotsford police sent the investigation back to RCMP in September, calling for them to track down some of the key witnesses.

Read more:
Mona Wang ‘shocked’ that wellness-check investigation review sent back to RCMP

It’s now been seven months since that update.

Meanwhile, approximately five months after Browning’s incident, Const. Siggy Pietrzak was caught on camera punching an allegedly impaired driver.

The Crown charged him with assault this week after a nearly year-long investigation.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Kelowna RCMP officer at centre of alleged assault caught on video formally charged

Retired police chief and former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed said even Pietrzak’s investigation took too long.

“I think the charge approval process in B.C. moves at a snail’s pace,” Heed said.

“We’ve probably had this officer on some type of administrative leave or desk duty for that period of time where he is getting his full salary.”

Heed is calling for officer body cameras, and believes that video evidence could help speed up costly investigations.

Read more:
Lawsuit filed against RCMP makes shocking allegations during Kelowna, B.C., man’s arrest

“I think it would save time in the long run, and ultimately it would save a heck of a lot of taxpayer dollars,” he said.

“Certainly it’s a wise investment.”

It’s important to note that the assault allegation against Pietrzak has not been proven.

His first court appearance is on May 3.

Read more:
Federal government denies ‘excessive force’ in Kelowna, B.C., arrest where punches thrown

Story continues below advertisement

But Wang said she was still happy to see some RCMP accountability.

“I feel really great that that person was able to find their justice. It is a little disheartening because I’m still waiting,” she said.

Heed said it’s concerning that the investigation into Browning’s conduct has taken so long, especially because Pietrzak’s incident happened after Browning’s but has already wrapped up.

Read more:
Kelowna, B.C., nursing student sues RCMP for alleged assault during wellness check

“I’m hoping that they’re not looking for some other type of process here, whether it be an internal discipline process under the RCMP Act, or in fact, they’re looking at alternative measures from the court perspective,” he said.

“We should not accept a lower level of process against that officer based on what we witnessed by cameras that were in the hallway of that apartment building.”

Read more:
Petition calling for Kelowna RCMP officer to be fired for alleged assault gains over 300K signatures

RCMP said the criminal investigation into Browning’s actions is being handled by the Southeast District, and there’s no timeline for when it will conclude.

“The matter remains ongoing and progress is checked weekly,” Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said in an email.

Story continues below advertisement

“The police officer has been assigned to administrative duties and duty status is subject to continual assessment,” she added.


Click to play video: 'Mona Wang extended interview after police apology'



Mona Wang extended interview after police apology


Mona Wang extended interview after police apology – Jul 2, 2020


© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



- Advertisement -spot_img

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest News

Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Wool Sheath Dress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.Over the last year,...
- Advertisement -spot_img

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -spot_img
Translate »