Freedom Convoy supporting Durham police officer Erin Howard’s disciplinary hearing adjourned

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Published June 9, 2022 at 12:26 pm

The disciplinary hearing of Cst. Erin Howard, facing six charges of police misconduct for her support of the ant-vaccine and health-restriction Freedom Convoy, is adjourned for a month so her defense can review documents.

Howard released a video in January, filmed in her cruiser while in uniform, voicing support for the then in-bound Freedom Convoy to Ottawa in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and health restrictions.

“I really want to give a big shout out to all the truckers. I think what you guys are doing is incredible,” Howard said in the video, “You’re fighting for our rights and freedoms. Right now it feels like we’re a little bit at war and those rights and freedom are at stake.”

Howard was set to speak in Ottawa as well in support of Police On Guard for Thee, an anti-mandate collective of officers that believe COVID restrictions are unconstitutional.

The Constitutional Society disagrees arguing that while these restrictions can conflict with chartered rights, they fall under Section 1 of the Charter, the “reasonable limits” clause.

When the Convoy arrived in Ottawa it incurred roughly $30 million in policing and clean-up costs and more than 400 criminal charges.

Following her video Durham Regional Police Services launched an investigation into Howard. Ultimately she was charged with two counts of discreditable conduct, insubordination and breach of confidence.

Howard appeared in uniform for her first hearing on May 5. She offered no comment, but gave a shout out to convoy supporters, including a 100 person crowd gathered outside the Whitby Police Headquarters. The hearing was adjourned so her defense could receive disclosure from the DRPS.

Days later, Howard and her husband, also a DRPS officer, were pictured with the leaders of Hold Fast. This Peterborough-based group harassed NDP leader Jagmeet Singh at a campaign stop hurling obscenities and alleging corruption.

Howard’s second hearing June 9, also greeted by a crowd of protesters was also quickly adjourned so her defence could have more time to review the “voluminous” file from DRPS that they received in late May. Her next appearance is scheduled for July 15.

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