Year in review – June 2020

A look back at the top stories from the month of June

  • Dec. 31, 2020 2:00 p.m.

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

On June 2, the Kelowna RCMP’s top cop called an officer’s alleged excessive use of force during an arrest “concerning.”

“Obviously in the short duration of the video, the action is concerning,” said Supt. Brent Mundle while addressing the media on Tuesday, June 2.

The video he spoke of stems from a May 30 arrest in which Kelowna officers responded to a complaint from the public of a man who allegedly appeared intoxicated inside a vehicle in the 200-block of Bernard Avenue.

The 30-year-old man in the vehicle was uncooperative, according to the police.

“In order to gain control of the situation, and for the safety of the officers, he was struck several times and was then taken to the ground and handcuffed,” said Mundle.

Part of the incident was caught in a 12-second video, which Mundle said is one short moment out of the entire arrest process.

Mundle confirmed RCMP officers are trained to use force if they deem the situation needs it, but he acknowledged the incident caught on the video is still concerning.

He said the current situation in the U.S. has also prompted them to look at the incident in a different light.

“Obviously, what we’re seeing south of the border is very disturbing and concerning,” he said.

“And certainly the actions…what occurred here has been looked at in a similar light by individuals in the community.”

The officer, who has been on the force for three years, then became the subject of an internal review.

•••

Hundreds gathered in Stuart Park for a Black Lives Matter rally on June 5. 
(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Hundreds gathered in Stuart Park for a Black Lives Matter rally on June 5. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Hundreds of people gather at Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

On June 5, hundreds gathered in Stuart Park for a rally in support of the black community in Kelowna.

Organized by two black women Paige Harrison and Kermisha Pereira, they say the rally was started with the hope of bringing peaceful and bring light to the ongoing protests in the U.S.

The protests started after an unarmed black man, George Floyd, died in Minnesota police custody.

Some protests had turned into violent riots.

Harrison and Pereira emphasized Friday’s event is a peaceful protest, saying all they want is to give people a chance to have an open conversation about people of colour’s experiences.

“I couldn’t ask for a better turnout,” Pereira said.

“We had a few people this morning trying to sabotage us, but this (turnout) is amazing.

“I honestly cannot find the words. This is more than us.

“This is more than a protest.

“This is changing people’s lives.”

•••

(Black Press file photo)

(Black Press file photo)

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

On June 23, news broke about a UBC Okanagan nursing student filing a civil claim against a Kelowna RCMP officer, the Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor after she claims she was assaulted and had her Charter Rights breached during a wellness check.

The claim alleges that Mona Wang was at her apartment on Jan. 20 when her boyfriend called police and asked them to provide a health check on Wang, claiming she was under mental distress.

According to court documents, Const. Lacy Browning attended Wang’s apartment and found the student lying on the floor in a state of semi-consciousness.

The plaintiff claims she was not a danger to Browning and did not act in a manner that would cause the RCMP officer to fear for their own safety.

A surveillance video shows Browning being dragging the handcuffed plaintiff on her stomach out of the apartment, down a carpeted hallway.

The plaintiff alleges she suffered injuries to her face, upper thigh, right breast, sternum and forearms.

In the response, RCMP stated that Browning acted within the course and scope of her duties as an RCMP officer and did not act with malice.

This story continued through the year.

The most recent news on Dec. 14 is that the Attorney General of Canada is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit against Kelowna Mountie Lacy Browning.

They are offering a staunch defence of the constable in a response to one of three civil lawsuits she is facing.

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