Ottawa Police Claim Freedom Convoy Done: Strict Security Measures Stay to Help ‘Community Healing'
( Breitbart )
Ottawa police on Sunday night claimed the Freedom Convoy that took to the streets across the Canadian capital is finished, before adding strict security measures and checkpoints remain in place to bolster “community healing.”
Interim Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell told a news conference a number of “successful” operations 24-hours earlier meant anti-vaccine mandate protest groups had “dramatically declined” in number and the city’s streets were clear for the first time in almost three weeks.
“We promised earlier this week that we would clear our streets and give them back to our residents. We promised that we would return our city to a state of normalcy,” he said. “With every hour we are getting closer to that goal.”
“We are deeply committed to the community healing that we know now needs to take place,” Bell added.
Over next several days, he said police will build a wide ranging security presence in the downtown core “to make sure that nobody returns to occupy our streets again.” He gave no details as to what those security measures entail.
UPI revealed as of Sunday, 191 people have been arrested in connection to the protest with 107 people charged.
A total of 389 charges have been laid, Bell said, even as locals who had gathered to protest affirmed they only sought freedom to go about their daily business.
Chris Harkins, deputy commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, said 76 vehicles have been seized and towed.
Police measures such as fencing, the heavy presence of officers and checkpoints would remain in place. Police had previously said there were some 100 check points surrounding the downtown area, UPI added.
The dismantling of the protest was conducted following the invocation of the Emergencies Act early last week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that armed the authorities with unprecedented law enforcement powers.
On Saturday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said under the Emergencies Act it has frozen 206 financial products, disclosed the information concerning 56 entities and shared 253 Bitcoin addresses with virtual currency exchanges.
One of the financial institutions had frozen the account of a payment processor account valued at $3.8 million, RCMP said.
MPs have been debating in the House of Commons all weekend, ahead of a vote on whether to ratify use of the Emergencies Act as promised by Trudeau scheduled for Monday evening.
Part of the act allows Canadian financial institutions to temporarily cease providing financial services if it suspects an account is being used to further the blockades and occupations.
On Sunday, the Special Investigations Unit said it was investigating two incidents that occurred on Friday and Saturday, when officers were clearing the streets.
One involved a 49-year-old woman who reported a serious injury after an interaction with a Toronto police officer on horseback, and the other stems from officers discharging Anti-Riot Weapon Enfields at protesters.