OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — All charges against a Canadian man who had his bank accounts frozen instantly for participating in the 2022 Freedom Convoy were dismissed by a judge due to lack of evidence and the “poor memory of a cop regarding key details of the alleged criminal offences.”
On February 18, 2022, Evan Blackman was hit with his Criminal Code offences of mischief and obstructing police charges after officers in downtown Ottawa were conducting “enforcement action” against protesters that included the use of surveillance drones to clear out protesters. He was arrested and released from custody on the same day.
According to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which helped Blackman with his legal case, the evidence against him “consisted of a 14-minute drone video (with no audio) and the testimony of one officer who was on the scene.”
For about nine minutes of the video, Blackman was recorded as part of a large group of protesters standing in front of a line of police officers on Rideau Street. The JCCF noted that one video showed Blackman “deescalating the situation by holding other protesters back and by putting his hand up to stop protesters from confronting police.”
“He is seen kneeling in front of police during the five minutes leading up to his arrest. At one point, while on his knees, he is seen taking off his hat, putting his hand on his chest, and singing ‘O Canada,’” the JCCF said.
Remarkably, after being let go from jail, Blackman quickly realized all three of his bank accounts had been frozen, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Emergency Economic Measures Order.
Blackman pleaded not guilty to the charges and faced an October 23 trial before the judge “dismissed all charges against Mr. Blackman” due to lack of evidence.
Blackman’s lawyer, Chris Fleury, and his client “are thrilled with this outcome.”
“After almost 20 months, Mr. Blackman can finally put this matter behind him,” Fleury said.
Blackman is the latest Freedom Convoy participant who has seen their charges dismissed.
Earlier this week, bail-related charges from last year against Freedom Convoy leader Tamara Lich for attending an awards ceremony were stayed by the Crown. This move came during her weeks-long trial for leading the convoy.
Lich’s bail charges are separate from her main criminal charges, which she and Freedom Convoy leader Chris Barber are currently on trial for in Ottawa.
Recently, charges against retired Canadian truck driver Benjamin Lockstein, who was 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.
Lich and Barber’s trial has thus far taken more time than originally planned due to the slow pace of the Crown calling its witnesses. LifeSiteNews has been covering the trial extensively.
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, 2022.
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.