Colten Boushie Verdict Shocks Canada
A firestorm of criticism is spreading across Canada as the verdict of Gerald Stanley who a young indigenous, Colton Boushie, at point blank in the back of the head. The jury in Battleford Saskatchewan deliberated for 13 hours finding Stanley not guilty of second degree murder,
Red Pheasant First Nation Chief Clint Wuttunee called the ruling "absolutely perverse."
"Colten Boushie was shot in the back of the head at point blank range. Nevertheless an all white jury formed the twisted view of that obvious truth and found Stanley not guilty," he said, adding that the verdict "crushed the spirit" of the community.
Colten's family had earlier stated that the deck was stacked against them in the court process. Alvin Baptiste, Boushie’s uncle, said there needs to be a change.
"Something has to be done about this. The government, Justin Trudeau, we ask you to give us Indigenous people justice," Baptiste said.
Justin Trudeau commented on the not guilty verdict. "I'm not going to comment on the process that led us to this point today, but I am going to say we have come to this point as a country far too many times," he said. "Indigenous people across this country are angry, they're heartbroken, and I know Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians alike know that we have to do better."
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted her sympathy for Boushie’s family, adding that she is "committed to working every day to ensure justice for all Canadians."
Along with several issues related to the trial, one of the main concerns is that the courts removed any visibly Indigenous jurors from the criminal trial. Gerald Stanley was acquitted of second-degree murder by an all-white jury.
"This sends a poor message across Canada that if you are an Indigenous man, a white man can shoot you in the back of the head and be found not guilty by an all-white jury. There is no reconciliation without justice," said Leah Gazan.