A Windsor police officer who was found guilty of discreditable conduct for donating $50 to the Freedom Convoy is appealing the Windsor Police Service Discipline Hearing decision and the subsequent penalty with the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

Constable Michael Jason Brisco, a 15-year veteran of the Windsor Police Service, made the donation on Feb. 8, 2022, through an online crowd-funding site. 

He said he believed the Convoy, which protested against Covid-19 restrictions in Ottawa, was a peaceful expression of freedom.

However, his donation was discovered after the website, GiveSendGo, was hacked and the list of donors was obtained by the Ontario Provincial Police, who identified active police officers who supported the Convoy.

Brisco was charged with one count of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act and convicted on March 24, 2023. 

He received a penalty of 80 hours forfeiture on May 18, meaning he would have to work on his days off without pay.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), a Calgary-based legal organization that represents Brisco and many other people facing pandemic-related charges, announced on June 1 that it is appealing the decision.

“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,” said Sayeh Hassan, counsel for Brisco, in a news release.

“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.”

Brisco had no previous disciplinary actions on his record.