CRESTON, British Columbia (LifeSiteNews) – A British Columbia mother of four, arrested by the RCMP for not wearing a mask, has had her criminal charge dropped.
Michelle Deshaies, who had told the arresting officers she had a medical exemption, was represented by criminal defense lawyer, Mohamed El Rashidy.
“This is a case where things should have never gotten to that level,” El Rashidy told Rebel News, the media organization whose ‘Fight The Fines’ project took up Deshaies’ case,
“But we were able to negotiate with the Crown, and especially rely on the fact that it is not in the societal interest to put Michelle through this and have her face these consequences over something that is nowhere near criminal activity,” El Rashidy continued.
“Michelle, in the end, only received a caution letter, and had the charges against her withdrawn.”
“I’m so grateful for you guys [Rebel News] doing this, you know, and I really pray and I hope that, you know, people can soon see the truth and learn, and that this has a positive impact,” Michelle Deshaies told Rebel News in her post-victory interview.
“It’s important to know what’s happening in our own communities, to our own people, to our neighbors, and to our loved ones.”
The incident that led to Deshaies arrest, taking place this spring before mask mandates in B.C. were lifted, was caught on video and reported by Rebel News. The video shows the young mother’s exchange with a Home Hardware store owner, and then the police, regarding her medical exemption from wearing a mask.
“I don’t want you here anymore,” the store owner told Deshaies.
“What’s the reason?” replied Deshaies.
“Not conforming to my rules.”
“Not conforming to my rules! I can ban anyone I want,” replied the owner.
Deshaies stated that she was “medically exempt.”
The footage then cuts to the arrival of the police.
The video recorded the police telling Deshaies that she had to leave the store. When Deshaies told the police officer that she was “medically exempt” from masking, and that her removal on these grounds constituted discrimination, the police officer replied that it “doesn’t matter.”
When Deshaies refused once again to comply, the officer placed her under arrest. Deshaies was taken by police car to jail, charged, and imprisoned overnight.
According to the B.C Human Rights Commissioner, who had released a statement on how to enforce mask mandates when they were first implemented, “In some cases, people cannot wear masks due to a medical condition or disability—and discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited under B.C.’s Human Rights Code,”
“It’s important to ensure that those who cannot wear them do not face automatic negative consequences like losing their job or being denied key services,” the Commissioner continued.
The Code itself states that businesses are required to “take every step possible to accommodate people protected by the Code, short of undue hardship.”