OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Interim Ottawa Police Chief (OPS) Steve Bell said Monday before the judicial inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act (EA) that the Freedom Convoy protest “felt” violent due to incessant horn honking, but admitted the movement was not actually violent in the criminal sense.
When asked by lawyers representing Freedom Convoy protesters why he had repeatedly claimed protesters would turn violent, Bell said to the Public Order Emergency Commission – the committee currently convened in Ottawa to investigate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act – it was not meant in the literal sense.
“Not the Criminal Code definition of violence but the violence they felt by having excessive horns blared, by having trucks run 24/7,” said Bell under cross-examination.
In response, lawyer Brenden Miller asked Bell, “So the violence they ‘felt,’ not actual violence, is that what you’re saying?”
“That is correct,” admitted the police chief.
Official figures show that from January 28 to February 15, only sixteen people were charged in downtown Ottawa, with five of them being for assault.
Addressing these five charges, Miller asked Bell, “You’d agree with me that is not unprecedented violence, is it?”
Bell replied, “As I defined violence, it wasn’t strictly Criminal Code violence.”
“Physical assaults do contribute to what I’m describing. I was specifically describing the violence that our community felt as a result of the culmination of actions the occupiers engaged in,” noted Bell to Miller.
While Bell and other government officials consistently characterized the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy protest as “violent,” the peaceful nature of the movement has been well-documented.
On October 19, the commander of the Intelligence Bureau of Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Patrick Morris, said that the “lack of violent crime was shocking.”
Recently revealed documents also show that the federal government received regular updates showing the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa was non-violent, despite the Trudeau government’s insistence otherwise.
Even the legal counsel for the OPP said the force did not think the Emergencies Act (EA) was needed to clear out the Freedom Convoy protesters.
Bell also confirmed that the OPS also did not request Trudeau’s use of the EA, something the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) also confirmed, despite Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino claiming multiple times the act was only invoked at the request of law enforcement.
Under the EA, the Trudeau government deployed the RCMP to physically remove the non-violent protesters, and even instructed financial institutions to freeze the bank accounts of the movements supporters without a court order.
The hearings into Trudeau’s unprecedented use of the EA began on October 13, and are expected to call at least 65 witnesses over six weeks, including Trudeau and many in his cabinet.