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Windsor officer to work unpaid hours as penalty for 'Freedom Convoy' donation

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A Windsor police officer will have to work unpaid hours as a penalty for donating to the Freedom Convoy.

Const. Michael Brisco was previously convicted of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act (PSA).

Brisco donated $50 through GiveSendGo to the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa on Feb. 7, 2022.

At the time, he was off on unpaid leave because he could not meet the requirements of the Windsor Police Service COVID-19 vaccination policy.

At a penalty hearing Thursday, lawyers submitted two different requests for the exact number of penalty hours to the adjudicator, retired OPP Superintendent Morris Elbers.

Defence lawyer Shane Miles is asking for 40 hours, while Windsor police lawyer David Amyott requested a penalty of 140 hours.

“The public interest looms very large in this case,” Amyott told Elbers Thursday, noting a significant penalty for such a “serious” violation would help to repair public confidence in the WPS.

Amyott said Brisco has not shown any remorse or “acceptance of wrongdoing” that his donation supported a movement that his peers in law enforcement were trying to contain.

“This isn’t an officer who used force that was excessive. This isn’t an officer who treated the public poorly,” Miles said Thursday. “This is an officer who donated $50.”

Miles said the money was never received by the Freedom Convoy organizers in Ottawa because the online account was frozen by federal authorities.

Brisco did not plead guilty to the single charge because Miles said he wanted a public discussion about his point of view; that of an off-duty officer supporting a grassroots movement.

“It’s important to learn and understand for the future because it will inform other officers,” Miles said.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s hearing Brisco was given a chance to address Elbers before he makes a decision.

“I’m ready to accept whatever penalty you wish to give me,” Brisco said.

The forfeiture of hours is one form of penalty under the PSA.

In layman’s terms, Brisco will have to come to work when he should have been off and not get paid to do his job.

Elbers told the lawyers and Brisco he will have his decision “on or before” May 19.

Both lawyers and Brisco declined to comment until the penalty is decided.

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