WINDSOR, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) – Charges against a retired Canadian truck driver arrested for allegedly obstructing traffic during the 2022 Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa were dropped by the Crown after he donated to a cat shelter.
The Democracy Fund (TDF) announced via a press release last Friday that charges of mischief and disobeying a court order against Benjamin Lockstein “were withdrawn” in a Windsor, Ontario, courtroom on September 14 after his “$500 donation to a cat shelter.”
According to the TDF, Lockstein’s charges were dropped as part of what is known as “alternative measures,” which allows “an adult person alleged to have committed and offence” to be given a way out to avoid admitting guilt or having a permanent criminal record.
Lockstein’s lawyer, Alan Honner, said he believes that his client would have been “acquitted had he proceeded to trial.”
The TDF said that Lockstein was arrested “during the protests while he was walking on the grassy median between northbound and southbound traffic on Huron Church Road.”
“The crown would have had to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Lockstein obstructed, interrupted or interfered with traffic prior to his arrest, and that he had the requisite criminal intent to do so.”
“The mere act of attending a protest is not a criminal offence,” Honner noted.
Honner continued, “That’s the impression people might get when the police arrest protesters on the sidewalk or the median.”
“That’s why it’s important for civil rights groups like TDF to get involved,” he added.
The TDF said it was ready to defend Lockstein in his three-day trial in the Ontario Court of Justice when the “alternative measures” deal was made.
Thus far, the TDF has been successful in having charges against two of its other clients withdrawn as there was “no reasonable prospect of conviction.”
The TDF is currently overseeing the legal proceedings in defense of Freedom Convoy leader Tamara Lich, which LifeSiteNews is reporting extensively on. This trial is on break now before resuming October 11.
In early 2022, the Freedom Convoy saw thousands of Canadians from coast to coast come to Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates in all forms. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government enacted the Emergencies Act in mid-February, leading to Lich’s arrest two days later on February 17.
After the protesters were cleared out, which was done through the freezing of bank accounts of those involved without a court order as well as the physical removal and arrest of demonstrators, Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23.