Ottawa police officer pleads guilty to misconduct over donation to truckers' convoy

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Ottawa Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Misconduct for Trucker Convoy Donation

One ​​of the donations was made the day after the police chief declared illegal occupation of city streets (archives).

An Ottawa police officer who made two cash donations to the convoy of truckers, including the day after the chief of police declared the city streets to be illegally occupied, has pleaded guilty to misconduct.

Kristina Neilson pleaded guilty Thursday morning to a single count of dishonorable conduct under the Police Services Act for donating money to the convoy on February 5.

To date, she is the only individual member of the Ottawa Police to have been formally prosecuted for her participation in the convoy.

According to the statement common facts of the case, Ms. Neilson first donated to the convoy on January 23, the day after hundreds of vehicles traveled from across Canada to converge on the nation's capital.

Ms. Neilson donated $55 on GoFundMe, one of several online fundraising platforms the convoy organizers used to raise funds.

On February 4, GoFundMe described the convoy as an occupation, the prosecutor in the case, Angela Stewart, recalled, and the platform considered such an occupation to violate its terms of service. The money was therefore frozen or refunded.

In response, other convoy-related fundraisers appeared, including one on GiveSendGo, to which Ms. Neilson donated $55 on February 5.

“She turned around and gave the money back to another fundraising platform as soon as she got a refund.

— Angela Stewart, Prosecutor

The Ottawa Police Service Misconduct Unit has been alerted to the donation of Kristina Neilson and began its own investigation. The policewoman herself admitted to having made the two donations during her interview with the investigators.

The convoy of truckers paralyzed downtown Ottawa for several weeks ( archives).

In a joint submission, the defense and the prosecution ask the police officer to give up 40 hours of salary and participate in a restorative justice component.< /p>

The latter, if executed as planned, will see members of the Ottawa community meet the officer and explain how her actions have affected them, as well as the services they provide. .

This is an unprecedented situation, but one that calls for serious condemnation of the conduct, argued Angela Stewart.

The The prosecutor listed relevant cases of police officers who were disciplined for making errors in judgment outside of work hours, but she called the case unprecedented.

Ms. Neilson has no history of police misconduct. She told the hearing that she had nothing to say at this time.

A written decision will be issued in the case at an undetermined date.

With information from Shaamini Yogaretnam, from CBC News

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