Officer Posting Video Supporting Trucker Convoy Facing Multiple Charges

A Canadian police officer is facing charges related to a video that she posted online during the Canadian trucker protest in January.

Erin Howard, a constable with the Durham Regional Police Service in Ontario, Canada, faces six disciplinary charges for posting a video online while in her uniform in support of the "Freedom Convoy" in Ottawa, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC).

In late January, Howard posted the video, where she referred to those protesting the vaccine mandates in Ottawa as "true heroes," the CBC reported.

"I wanted to give a shout-out to all the truckers. I think what you guys are doing is incredible. You're fighting for our rights and freedoms, and, right now, it feels like we're a little bit at war and those rights and freedoms are at stake," Howard said in the video.

Howard also said that she believed what the protesters were doing was "incredible."

The CBC report said Howard was charged under the Police Service Act with two counts of discreditable conduct, two counts of insubordination and two counts of breach of confidence.

Truck during Canadian protest
A Canadian police officer is facing charges for posting a video online while in her uniform voicing support for the trucker protest that occupied Ottawa in January. Pictured, a truck sitting during the Canadian trucker protest in Ottawa on February 19, 2022. Scott Olson//Getty Images

A DRPS official told CTV News that the department's code of conduct does not allow for police property to be used for personal matters, saying that it's only allowed for official business.

The charges against Howard come following a departmental investigation into the video, according to CTV News.

Howard is expected to appear before a tribunal on May 5.

"[Durham Regional Police Service] is committed to providing the highest quality police service possible to the residents of Durham Region," the Durham Regional Police Service [DRPS] said in a statement when asked for a comment by Newsweek. "Accountability is a cornerstone of this commitment. There are both internal and external bodies that allow for oversight of DRPS members and the Service as a whole."

"Internally, the Professional Standards Unit responds to and investigates all complaints in an unbiased and professional manner," the statement continued.

For weeks, trucks in Canada blocked roads in Ottawa to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates. During the situation, in which the city's main streets were clogged and brought to a standstill, the mayor of Ottawa declared a state of emergency.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also invoked the Emergencies Act, which was meant to help put an end to the protests by allowing the Canadian government the authority to go after the finances of those involved in the demonstrations.

The protests in downtown Ottawa cost businesses millions of dollars a day, according to experts. Stores in one Ottawa mall lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.3 million a day in sales and wages, a report from the CBC said.

One business owner in Ottawa told Newsweek that the time during the protest was worse than the shutdown during COVID-19.

"It was terrible; people were scared to come downtown. It was the slowest three to four weeks for the business," said Pat Nicastro, the owner of an Italian supermarket in downtown Ottawa.