(LifeSiteNews) –– Constable Michael Brisco of the Windsor Police Service, who last week was told by an adjudicator he must work 80 unpaid hours as punishment for giving $50 to the Freedom Convoy, will be appealing his charge of “discreditable conduct.”
As noted in a press release yesterday by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), Brisco’s appeal will be made directly to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.
“Constable Brisco was exercising his right to freedom of expression when he made a small donation to the Freedom Convoy. He fully believed that the protests were peaceful, and his beliefs were confirmed by the Superior Court, which allowed for the protests to continue, albeit without honking,” noted his lawyer, Sayeh Hassan.
“Canadians including police officers should be able to exercise their right to freedom of expression without being penalized. We are hopeful that the Ontario Civil Police Commission will overturn Constable Brisco’s conviction and uphold his right to freedom of expression.”
Last week in a penalty hearing, Brisco was given his sentence by retired Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Superintendent Morris Elbers.
Elbers said the $50 donation was a “serious” violation and that the hours will be worked on vacation or rest days.
“As a police officer, there comes a time when you must take the political issues out of your head when you are making decisions,” Elbers wrote in his decision.
On February 8, 2022, Brisco made his $50 donation to the Freedom Convoy’s GiveSendGo account. At the time, he was on unpaid leave after choosing not to comply with the force’s mandatory COVID vaccine policy.
He was later convicted of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act (PSA) on March 24, after a disciplinary hearing.
The JCCF said that Brisco is a “highly trained and respected police officer with an exemplary record.”
“He has been a police officer for 15 years and has no prior disciplinary record. He is a defender of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and believes that he was exercising his Charter right to freedom of expression when making the $50 donation to support the Ottawa Freedom Convoy,” noted the JCCF.
The JCCF said that Brisco’s donation was made known to the Windsor Police after the donor list was hacked and the names were released.
The Freedom Convoy protest took place in early 2022 in Ottawa, and featured thousands of Canadians calling for an end to COVID mandates.
In response, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government enacted the Emergencies Act (EA) on February 14, 2022 to shut down the popular movement.
Trudeau had disparaged unvaccinated Canadians, saying those opposing his measures were of a “small, fringe minority” who hold “unacceptable views” and do not “represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other.”
Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23 after the protesters had been cleared out.
The use of the EA resulted in about $8 million in locked funds from 267 bank accounts. Additionally, 170 bitcoin wallets were frozen.
The freezing of bank accounts without a court order was an unprecedented action in Canadian history.
Other Canadians in recent weeks have been charged for participating in the Freedom Convoy, despite the nonviolent nature of the movement.
A few weeks ago, LifeSiteNews reported about Canadian father and trucker Harold Jonker, who is now facing four criminal charges for participating in the demonstration.
Jonker, who runs Jonker Trucking Inc. of Niagara, Ontario, said he is “confident” in the face of his four criminal charges and that he has put his trust in “God.”
He was granted bail without conditions and must appear before a court next week.