Today was day 2 of the Freedom Convoy 2022 Trial in Ottawa.
Ottawa Police Inspector Russell Lucas took to the witness stand in an Ottawa courtroom today. He told the court that it was his decision to allow trucks to park on Wellington Street in front of the Parliament Buildings. His rationale was that by doing so, trucks would not park on residential streets, causing further disruption.
The decision to park the trucks on Wellington Street was controversial. But Lucas stood by his decision, saying he “approved it and endorsed it.” He stands by that decision today. He said spilling the trucks into side streets would have been much worse.
Police knew trucks were coming to Ottawa but had no idea that so many were coming. He said on the first weekend, over 5,000 Convoy supporters were on Parliament Hill. Lucas said that police were immediately overwhelmed, and the protest exceeded police expectations.
On trial are Tamara Lich and Chris Barber; they are charged with mischief, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation and obstructing police. They are the self-proclaimed leaders of the Freedom Convoy 2022.
Lucas testified that as the Convoy became more entrenched, it became more dangerous for police. The crowd became more volatile and swarmed police if they tried to enforce the law.
Lucas said he never went to the demonstration zone and had no contact with either Lich or Barber. He was on the stand for 6 hours today.
More testimony from the Ottawa Police Service is expected in the trial tomorrow.