An Ottawa judge has dismissed all charges against a Freedom Convoy protester whose bank accounts were frozen by the Liberal government.
According to a press release by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), Evan Blackman had Criminal Code mischief and obstruction of police charges dismissed by the court after police failed to remember key details about the arrest and provided scant evidence to substantiate the charges.
“My client and I are thrilled with this outcome,” said JCCF lawyer Chris Fleury.
“After almost 20 months, Mr. Blackman can finally put this matter behind him.”
The evidence submitted to the court included a 14-minute drone video and one officer’s testimony.
In the video, the JCCF reports that Blackman can be seen in a group of protesters facing off with the police.
Footage suggests that Blackman was trying to de-escalate the situation by preventing protesters from engaging with police any further and blocking others from confronting police.
Additionally, the video provided by the police shows Blackman getting on his knees and taking off his hat to sing the national anthem O Canada.
Despite Blackman’s actions, he was arrested Feb. 18, 2022 after the federal government declared the protest illegal and invoked the Emergencies Act to quash the peaceful demonstrators who opposed vaccine mandates.
Upon release, Blackman’s bank accounts had been ordered frozen as a result of the Trudeau government’s decision to employ emergency powers.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced at the time that the Act would grant financial institutions the authority to freeze the bank accounts of protesters and cancel the insurance of truckers.
Furthermore, it relied on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations to go after the funds raised by the Freedom Convoy.