In a recent turn of events, Larry Heather had his charges dropped.
He was previously arrested and charged by the Calgary Police with two counts of harassment for urging Pride attendees not to bring their children to the parade and for encouraging them to watch the "Sound of Freedom" movie.
Larry Heather's arrest had sparked a debate about the limits of free speech in public spaces. However, this case isn't isolated.
There seems to be a growing pattern of the Calgary authorities arresting individuals only for those charges to be later dismissed.
Take, for instance, the case of Jesse Johnson, the owner of Without Papers Pizza.
During the pandemic, Johnson was prosecuted for refusing to close his restaurant to unvaccinated individuals.
The court hearing that lasted 10 minutes ended with cheers from the crowd after an unexpected decision by the crown to withdraw charges.
Another instance that has raised eyebrows involves an individual who was arrested for "breaching the peace" following a verbal exchange with supporters of Hamas.
The arrest, which was executed by the Calgary Police, culminated in the individual being escorted into a police van. Despite being told that he was being arrested for "breaching the peace," he was released without charges after spending few hours in a cell.
These instances point to a concerning trend where charges are brought against individuals for actions that arguably fall within the realm of their rights, only for these charges to be subsequently withdrawn.
This pattern raises critical questions about the exercise of authority by the Calgary Police and the decision-making process of the city’s prosecutors.
Critics argue that such actions could have a chilling effect on free speech and personal liberties.
The apprehension of being arbitrarily arrested, only to have charges dropped later, might deter individuals from exercising their rights, particularly in contexts involving public expression or civil disobedience.