Windsor Constable appealing conviction for Freedom Convoy donation: Brisco v. The Windsor Police Service

Constable Michael Brisco of the Windsor Police Service 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.

So, what is his so-called offence? He made a $50 donation to the Freedom Convoy while on unpaid leave from his job as a police officer in Windsor for choosing not to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Constable Brisco will be appealing his charge of Discreditable Conduct to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

The donation was brought to the attention of Windsor Police Service when the donor list was hacked from the crowd funding site GiveSendGo. The Ontario Provincial Police intercepted the donor list and assisted in identifying police donors throughout Ontario. After a six-day hearing before an Ontario Provincial Police Adjudicator, the Tribunal, on March 24, 2023, Constable Brisco was found guilty of Discreditable Conduct in a Windsor Police Service Discipline Hearing for making the $50 donation to the Freedom Convoy.  On May 18, 2023, the Tribunal ordered that Constable Brisco forfeit 80 hours of work as punishment.

Constable Brisco made the donation on February 8, 2022, a day after a finding by the Superior Court Judge that protests could continue without honking.

Thousands of Canadians supported the Freedom Convoy and exercised their right to freedom of expression by donating to the peaceful protests in Ottawa. Constable Brisco 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.“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,” says Sayeh Hassan, counsel for Constable Brisco.“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,” concludes Ms. Hassan.

Updated June 27, 2023:

Constable Michael Brisco has filed a Notice of Appeal with Ontario Civilian Police Commission, challenging tribunal decisions finding him guilty of discreditable conduct and forcing him to work 80 hours without pay for donating $50 to the Freedom Convoy.

The hearing date for the appeal is November 21, 2023.

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