Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Law group ‘worried’ over lawyer’s arrest outside Ford rally near Hamilton Airport | Nation World News

The Criminal Lawyers Association and the Women in Canadian Criminal Defense (WICCD) are criticizing the arrest of a Toronto-based lawyer last Thursday near an Ontario Progressive Conservative campaign stop in Hamilton.

“We are concerned that any citizen, even if he is a member of our profession, will be treated by the police – it seems on behalf of an elected official – of the electoral process and the right to freedom of expression. With such disregard. Both are our cornerstone. Democracy,” read the joint statement issued on Monday.

Saad said last week he tried to enter a rally for PC leader Doug Ford near Hamilton Airport. She said she wanted to attend the event, but the staff didn’t let her in and they called the police to trespass on her.

He was eventually arrested and given a ticket for trespassing before being released from the property.

Hamilton police initially said he was arrested for blocking a road and staying on private property in the midst of a protest.

Saad and the group organizing the protest said this was not true. He said that she was not part of the protesting group and was arrested before any protest took place.

Saad said he believed he was not allowed to enter the event and was eventually arrested because of criticism from Ford and other political leaders. He has a large social media presence for his cartoons and videos that criticize politicians and people opposing public health measures.

On Monday afternoon, Hamilton Police issued a “clarification” stating that Saad was asked to leave the incident and that when he did not comply, he was arrested, released from property and trespassed. fined for.

Police spokesman Jackie Penman told CBC Hamilton: “After observing the incident closely, we felt that an explanation was necessary regarding the reason for the arrest.”

Penman said the officers acted under the Trespass of Property Act. He did not respond to questions about whether officers had done their own assessments before making the arrests or whether they were merely acting on complaints from PCs or event representatives.

The PC Party declined to answer CBC Hamilton’s questions about the incident Monday and last week.

BIPOC ‘chilling effect’ on communities: law group

When asked about the incident at Friday’s campaign stop, Ford did not directly answer questions about whether he supported the arrest or the ticket.

“I want to thank the Hamilton Police. They always have a challenging job,” he said in response.

The Lawyers’ Union and the WICCD said Saad never turned violent while attending political rallies and other events, but he has been asked to skip PC gatherings in the past.

Law Group 'Worried' Over Lawyer'S Arrest Outside Ford Rally Near Hamilton Airport | Nation World News
Toronto-based lawyer Saad says she should not have been denied entry to Ford’s rally in Hamilton because of her opinion. (Taylor Simmons/CBC)

They say this shows that he was denied entry and eventually charged because his political views did not align with that of the PC.

Law groups said, “Those who seek public office must remember the will of the people and the right to political dissent. We reject the use of the criminal justice system, a blunt tool, as a way to suppress such dissent.” We do.”

He also said the fact that Saad is a woman of color would have a “calming effect” on equity-seeking communities.

Nation World News Desk
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