An Ottawa police officer has been charged with misconduct for allegedly donating money to the Freedom Convoy occupation last February.
Const. Kristina Neilson made her first disciplinary appearance on Thursday morning to face a single count of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.
Professional standards investigators — detectives who investigate officer misconduct internally — allege Neilson discredited the service's reputation "by donating money to the 'Freedom Convoy Fund' on a website called GiveSendGo."
Police further allege that she "knew, or reasonably ought to have known, that the money was being raised for the illegal occupation known as the 'Freedom Convoy' which took place in the City of Ottawa during the months of January and February 2022."
According to the notice of hearing, which lays out the charges against her, Neilson allegedly made a donation on Feb. 5, which was three days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the occupation was "becoming illegal" and the day before the city declared a state of emergency.
According to sources with knowledge of the investigation, and to a leaked list of donors, Neilson allegedly made a $50 donation in her son's name.
Part of a comment made online with the donation described her son as having spent nearly half his life living during the pandemic and "locked down."
"When I play hockey, I wish I could see my dad smile," the comment read. "Thank you for fighting for our freedom."
A CBC analysis of the GiveSendGo donor data found that at least two dozen names of current and former members of the Ottawa Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police matched the names of people who had donated to the cause.
Neilson did not enter a plea and is next scheduled to appear before a disciplinary hearing officer on Sept. 29.