Coutts blockade supporter hopes to overturn dangerous driving, assault verdicts

Syd Fizzard provides an update in the case of James Sowery, a Coutts blockade supporter who is hoping to overturn a guilty verdict after a jury found him guilty of dangerous driving and assault following an incident at an RCMP checkpoint near the blockade.

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Last week, Rebel News was in Lethbridge, Alberta, covering the five day trial by jury of James Sowery, a sympathizer of the Coutts border blockade who ended up in nearby Milk River amongst the peaceful protest, which saw tens of thousands of supporters.

You may recall the Coutts blockade, a peaceful demonstration against COVID restrictions and vaccine mandates which coincided with the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa that took place last year from late January through mid February. Here in Alberta, the sentiments were so strong that provincial COVID restrictions were lifted during this 18-day demonstration.

On Feb. 9, Sowery filled his HVAC truck with firewood to bring to the protesters as they faced the harsh climate of Alberta's winter. He then drove four and a half hours to deliver this unique payload. Sowery decided to park his truck and stay for a few days.

But on Feb. 14, he got a call for a job, at which point he attempted to leave the demonstration with the work truck he arrived in.

Pulling a short distance outside of the demonstration zone to complete his pre-trip logs and vehicle inspection, Sowery saw an RCMP vehicle parked ahead on the road. After completing his pre-trip checks, Sowery began to gear up his 18-gear truck to approach and maintain highway speeds.

Not thinking that the single police vehicle ahead of him — with no officers standing nearby — was a checkpoint, Sowery continued his approach at highway speeds. Near the final seconds of his approach, Sowery claims an officer hopped out of the parked vehicle's driver seat and gave him a wave goodbye.

Sowery then heard a noise coming from the front left of his truck, which he thought merited pulling over. As he began to do so, he looked in his mirror and saw flashing police lights in the distance.

Once Sowery brought his 50,000 pound truck to a full stop, he exited, got on his knees and placed his hands in the air. The arresting officer described this as a ‘high-risk takedown’ and drew his weapon during the arrest.

Later, Sowery would learn he hit an RCMP pylon and would be charged with assault with a weapon against the officer he thought was waving goodbye, Constable Cory Kornicki.

Sowery was being represented during his trial by Olivia Manzer of Trach Law, crowdfunded through Rebel News viewers generous donations at TruckerLawyer.ca.

We interviewed Sowery himself to hear his side of events while he was in Lethbridge, you can see the report above. Previously, two branches of the state, the RCMP and CBC, both put out information alleging Sowery to be some sort of extremist.

“The vehicle accelerated and drove at officers, who had to run out of the way to avoid getting hit," the RCMP said in its release. The CBC, however, reported that there was only one constable at the check stop when Sowery drove by, not multiple officers.

The RCMP also put out a news release on Sowery's arrest, saying “the driver accelerated and drove towards our members,” listing Sowery as the 13th individual to be arrested in connection to the Coutts border protest.

This news release was an update to a previous news release which showcased 11 arrests, and the seizure of weapons from a “small organized group within the larger Coutts protests.”

CBC strongly linked Sowery as having ties to a “white supremacist group” even though their follow up article on his jury trial completely dropped this formerly bolded assertion.

As mentioned, The Democracy Fund has been assisting Sowery with his legal fees, and to help crowdfund his defence and learn more about tax-deductible donations, head to TheDemocracyFund.ca.

The only way we were able to cover this jury trial was through your donations at RebelFieldReports.com, thanks to your help we were at the courthouse every day live tweeting the proceedings.

If you want to see more of what happened in the case of James Sowery such as our daily live-tweet articles from inside the courtroom, and for other reports on the Coutts Blockade, head to TruckerLawyer.ca.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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