Ottawa police officer admits protesters joined Freedom Convoy without pressure from leaders – LifeSite

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – An Ottawa Police Services officer testified Wednesday at the trial for Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber that none of the protesters he had dealings with said they had joined the demonstrations because they were influenced by the organizers of the protests.

Day 25 of the trial began with OPS Police Liaison Team (PLT) Sgt. Jordan Blonde again taking the stand for cross-examination by Lich’s lawyer Lawrence Greenspon.

Blonde said that on February 6, 2022, he had walked around the “Kent and Laurier intersection,” testifying that the people he spoke with that day claimed they “were not aligned with any convoys or protesters and had no intention of leaving the protest that day,” as per a Democracy Fund (TDF) court update.

Blonde acknowledged that some emergency lanes were left open by protesters, “including Metcalfe and Bank Street, on January 31, 2022.”

While testifying, Blonde confirmed that he did not deal with Lich directly but said he met with many others who identified as “organizers.”

The TDF noted that Blonde admitted to “making no notes or references about protesters, stating that they were present at the protest because of Lich or Barber.”

Blonde told the court that he thought not all protesters displayed the same “wishes or desires,” but that they all came together for the “general” purpose of protesting.

The TDF is crowdfunding Lich’s legal costs.

Lich and Barber are facing multiple charges from the 2022 protests, including mischief, counseling mischief, counseling intimidation and obstructing police for taking part in and organizing the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy. As reported by LifeSiteNews at the time, despite the non-violent nature of the protest and the charges, Lich was jailed for weeks before she was granted bail.

The Crown is trying to prove that Lich and Barber had somehow influenced the protesters’ actions through their words.

Cop was ‘secondary contact’ for Barber, who he described as ‘very amenable’

The court on Wednesday learned that Blonde was a secondary contact for Barber, who he said was respectful, even polite, and “very amenable” in working with the police.

Blonde also admitted that Barber had tried to move trucks from residential areas, but he was stopped by a police cruiser. He said that he reached out to his commanding officers to have the police car removed, but this did not happen.

Lich and Barber’s lawyers are waiting for a decision from Judge Heather Perkins-McVey regarding being able to view some internal police documents in full, which were given to them but in a redacted form.

They have noted that they will not be able to conclude their cross-examination of Blonde until the judge makes a ruling.

On Wednesday, Perkins-McVey said that she would be issuing a decision regarding the “solicitor-client email disclosure issue on Friday, and it “will revolve around whether ‘some’ or ‘all’ of the email chain will be unredacted,” as noted by the TDF.

On Day 24 of the Freedom Convoy leaders’ trial, Perkins-McVey ordered the Crown to provide an unredacted document to the defense lawyers concerning internal police emails regarding a police officer phone upgrade that “wiped” the data of some devices.

On Day 23 of the trial, Blonde claimed that protesters were “hostile” after being told to clear out of the city’s downtown core when emergency laws were enacted even though during the clear-out a woman was trampled by a horse.

The defense for Lich and Barber had last week made two defense disclosure applications requesting information from the Crown.

Lich and Barber’s defense has thus far only received completely blacked-out documents concerning the phone wipes of the OPS officers.

Last Thursday, during Day 20 of the trial, a second police witness, Nicole Bach of the OPS Police Liaison Team (PLT), testified her police-provided phone was “wiped” of all information when asked by the judge if she had copies of vital information of conversations between her and protesters.

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 on February 14, the same day as “moving day.”

During the clear-out of protesters, after the EA was put in place, one protester, an elderly lady, was trampled by a police horse and one conservative female reporter was beaten by police and shot with a tear gas canister.

Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23.

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.

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