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Protesters arrested in Occupation ‘Freedom Convoy’ acquitted in hoax case

“It seems to be a misconception of people outside of this city that Ottawa consists only of federal institutions. The most basic use and enjoyment of their property – the right to a good night’s sleep and their own the right to move freely within the neighborhood,” says Ontario Court Judge Robert Wadden.

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Demonstrator David Romlewski, who was arrested for squatting downtown Ottawa in February, has ruled that prosecutors failed to show evidence linking him to a prank staged by “Freedom Convoy” protesters. Later, he easily won acquittal in two of his prank cases.

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Romlewski represented himself to assistant detectives Tim Radcliffe and John Wright.

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After hearing evidence from police witnesses and reviewing footage from Romlewski’s body camera, the judge committed the mischief that “Freedom Convoy” protesters interfered with downtown residents’ use and enjoyment of property. said.

But the judge also ruled that Romlewski, who was there to harass, provoke police, and protest the legitimacy of emergency law enforcement, had nothing to do with the occupation. In dismissing the royal family theory, the judge said Romlevsky was not a truck driver, did not drive cars downtown, and did not help organize or financially support the “Freedom Convoy.”

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“In my opinion, there is no question that the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters committed a prank.

It seems to be a misconception by those outside the city that Ottawa consists entirely of federal agencies. In reality, downtown was a thriving neighborhood inhabited by countless middle and working class people who were then deprived of even the most basic use and enjoyment of their property. . Ontario Judge Robert Wadden said, “They are free to move around their neighborhood.

The judge said Romlewski was well-mannered, well-groomed, and ready for cross-examination when he defended himself in court. Romlewski did not take his position in his own defense, and although he won two acquittals on mischief charges, a judge convicted him of police obstruction.

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Body camera footage of himself gave him plenty of opportunity to get out of the way when police were assigned to clear Sparks Street from protesters and restore order on February 19. Instead of moving on, he continued to provoke the police, trying to get them to have a conversation about the validity of the Emergency Act and the legitimacy of their existence. He refused to leave or get out of their way and doubled down as he sat in a solitary protest against the police and their authority. was booked at the headquarters of

RCMP Cst. Edward Bastien was assigned as part of a police tactical support group on February 19 to clear Sparks Street protesters starting on Elgin Street moving west. He and his fellow officers came in and ordered the people to be moved or arrested. Romlewski had nothing of it, so he stood his ground and sat in front of the police.

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Body camera footage of Romlewski shows him approaching police officers, demanding identification and claiming that he is a “sovereign” and has the right to pass them by. . In his 18-minute exchange with police, Romlewski attempted to involve them in a debate about the legitimacy of their role in emergency law.

The judge noted that police officers had given Romlevsky many chances to leave and avoid arrest and criminal charges.

“The front-line officers were patient and tolerant with him, though they resolutely allowed him to pass. One officer in particular, Sgt. Chantal Arcenaut, is the best quality of a police officer in a crowd control situation.” — she identified herself to Romlewski, had a conversation with him, and tried to persuade him to leave the scene, but to no avail.

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In the video, Cst. Bastian and his fellow tactical officers, whom the judge refers to in his ruling, are seen forming a line as they move forward to clear Sparks Street.

The patrol officer moves aside and the tactical officer advances, telling Romlewski to “back off.” Instead, he sat in the street and congratulated himself.

One of the officers said, “Get up, buddy. You’re going to be arrested, get up.”

“My findings about the legitimacy of the police actions are reinforced by the fact that this was neither a roundup of protesters nor the ‘kettling’ that is sometimes seen in crowd control. There is no evidence that mass arrests were the goal. At each stage, the police gave[Romlewski]every chance to leave the area without making an arrest. It is clear from the evidence before me that the police were acting to secure the area to restore order,” the judge said.

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“It was intentional that[Romlewski]was sitting on the street … shortly after being told by the police to move. I kept going,” Wadden said.

The judge added that Romlewski’s seated protest was a deliberate obstruction of lawful policing. “Literally physical obstruction by the police,” he said.

The judge continued: protester. ”

Crown’s aide presented an ambiguous Facebook post and filing of general intent against Romlewski on mischief charges, which were not valid in court.

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Crown entered a Facebook post from the accused as evidence that he encouraged the “Freedom Convoy”, but the post strays from the date of his alleged prank. did.

“Crown asks me to draw the inference that the posts relate specifically to the occupation of Ottawa. The post confirms that the defendant has sympathy for the protest movement in general, but cannot be convicted because of his political views.The post itself is a crime of being a party to the prank. does not apply to behavior.

“Assuming it referred to the Ottawa protests (which I’m not sure about), it seemed to support and even encourage honking and protesting at its fullest. But , as I understand Facebook, this post will be available to his contacts and friends or visible to anyone looking for his Facebook page. There is no evidence that the person was actually participating in the Ottawa protests, and there is no evidence that the accused tried to draw his post to the attention of the protest leaders or anyone involved in the occupation of Ottawa. In the absence of such evidence, the January 30th post, at its best, is nothing more than an unheard cry of encouragement.

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The judge was even more unconvinced that the royal family relied on common intentions.

“There is no evidence before me that the defendant had common intentions with anyone. There is no evidence that the defendant had contact with the organizers of the protest or other protesters There is no evidence that he was part of a group participating in the protest The defendant died before or after February 19 There is no evidence (apart from his single post) of social media conversations that took place in the United States, no evidence from which an inference could be drawn that any other person formed an intention with the accused, nor that he was also the accused. “It’s speculation to do so,” Wadden said in the Nov. 3 judgment.

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Protesters arrested in Occupation ‘Freedom Convoy’ acquitted in hoax case

Source link Protesters arrested in Occupation ‘Freedom Convoy’ acquitted in hoax case

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