British Columbia

Review of alleged misconduct in Mona Wang case returned to RCMP for 'further investigation'

B.C.'s former solicitor general Kash Heed says he has "no confidence" in the review process. Surveillance video shows Kelowna RCMP Const. Lacy Browning dragging student Mona Wang down a hallway and stepping on her head.

B.C.'s former solicitor general Kash Heed says he has 'no confidence' in review process

A still from a surveillance video shows Const. Lacy Browning stepping on Wang's head during a wellness check. (Submitted by Bridge Law Corporation)

Abbotsford police have returned a high-profile case of alleged officer misconduct to the RCMP asking for further investigation, in what B.C.'s former solicitor general calls an unusual and concerning move.

In June, surveillance video emerged of Kelowna RCMP Const. Lacy Browning dragging Mona Wang down a hallway, and then stepping on the UBC Okanagan nursing student's head.

The officer was responding to a wellness check at Wang's apartment from January 2020.

Browning was placed on desk duty, and the Kelowna RCMP began a criminal investigation into her actions.

The results of that investigation were sent to Abbotsford police for an external review, including any recommendations for criminal prosecution. 

But now, the RCMP tells CBC News: "The matter has been reviewed and returned to the RCMP with further investigation required."

"We are conducting the necessary follow-up," said Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, a senior media relations officer with the RCMP. "It is important that any reviews be thorough and complete and as such will take variable amounts of time." 

'I have no confidence'

Former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed says it is highly unusual for an independent review to be handed back to investigators. 

"It is concerning. That is concerning," he said.

"I have no confidence in what is happening here. It appears the Abbotsford police have identified some flaws in the investigation and have given it back to the RCMP to do. It should be pulled out of their hands." 

Heed, who also served as the chief superintendent of West Vancouver police and was the first Indo-Canadian chief of police in Canada, says B.C.'s civilian Independent Investigations Office needs to be empowered. 

"The IIO should have a mandate to investigate all criminal conduct or alleged criminal conduct against a service police officer here in British Columbia," Heed said. 

The IIO can only investigate cases of serious harm or death.   

Mona Wang is pictured in Burnaby, British Columbia on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Mona Wang has filed a civil case against the RCMP. That case is still before the courts. 

The RCMP's Shoihet says there is no deadline to complete the review of the case.

"I have no diary date with respect to when this will be completed."

Abbotsford police declined to comment on the review.

RCMP have also launched an internal code of conduct investigation into Const. Browning's conduct.