Man arrested, dragged out of Alberta legislature during protest
EDMONTON -- Cody Haller was arrested and dragged out of the Alberta legislature grounds Sunday afternoon during a protest at the Alberta legislature.
The arrest was caught on camera. In video of the arrest, Haller can be heard asking, "Am I being arrested? Am I being detained? What did I breach?" A sheriff responds, and he says, "The public health act? What section did I breach?"
He was ticketed for “contravening order of medical health officer of health.”
“It is my freedom and my right to assemble and to express my concerns as well as any objections that I may have to a government that is supposed to be acting in all of our best interest,” Haller told CTV News Edmonton.
Haller denies being in violation of the public health order.
“I was not in a group larger of 15 and I was definitely not in any close proximity to anybody else.”
There have been a number of rallies at the legislature protesting Alberta's stay-at-home and physical distancing orders, though this was the first arrest at a rally during the pandemic, Premier Jason Kenney said.
“The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental right that includes both the freedoms of speech and assembly," the premier said. "Elected leaders do not direct operational decisions of law enforcement officials. We are inquiring why an arrest occurred yesterday, but not at previous protests."
The couple who caught the incident on camera questioned the arrest and are glad to hear the province is investigating.
"At previous rallies these people were quite outspoken; the people that were arrested appeared to be targeted," Jesse Feniak said.
"Anyone who was there with their families stuck with their families, we were just there to give our opinion and use our rights," Richelle Feniak added.
Two other protesters were also detained Sunday, the Edmonton Police Service said.
Haller is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 1, but he said the arrest won’t discourage him from attending future protests.
“I hope that inspires others to face their fears and stand for their rights and freedoms,” he said.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Joey Slattery
A previous version of this story reported the protest at the Alberta legislature was linked to Bill 10. Organizers say this is incorrect.