Protest in Vancouver over Colten Boushie verdict
Hundreds of Justice for Colten demonstrators in Vancouver joined others across the country Saturday expressing frustration at a Saskatchewan jury's decision to acquit Gerald Stanley in Colten Boushie's 2016 shooting death.
"I'm not just angry, I'm enraged," Musqueam Nation member Audrey Siegl told the crowd on Hamilton Street. "I will not stop until there is justice."
Gerald Stanley, a white farmer, was on trial for the death of the 22-year-old Indigenous man.
The court heard that Boushie and four others drove onto Stanley's property near Biggar, Sask. They said they were looking for help with a flat tire, but the accused said one of the men jumped onto an ATV.
Stanley grabbed a gun and said he fired two warning shots and then accidentally shot Boushie in the back of the head.
The all-white jury took 13 hours to deliberate before delivering a not-guilty verdict on Friday. The decision sent shockwaves across the country.
Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted that Canada "can and must do better."
Thank you PM @JustinTrudeau. My thoughts are with the family of Colton Boushie tonight. I truly feel your pain and I hear all of your voices. As a country we can and must do better - I am committed to working everyday to ensure justice for all Canadians. https://t.co/HvjV0bofrQ— Jody Wilson-Raybould (@Puglaas) February 10, 2018
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed his condolences to Boushie's family.
Just spoke with @Puglaas. I can't imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight. Sending love to them from the US.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 10, 2018
Clint Wuttunee, chief of the Red Pheasant First Nation of which Boushie was a member, called the ruling perverse and said it has crushed the spirit of the community.
"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 told the Canadian Press.
The verdict set off demonstrations across the country. Many are calling for an inquiry and changes to the jury selection process.
Now, some say the verdict threatens to set back reconciliation efforts.
"I'm not interested in reconciliation anymore, that's where I'm at," said Squamish Nation councillor Khelsilem. "Let's talk about justice. You give me 150 years of justice and then we can talk about reconciliation."
While the Crown hasn't ruled out an appeal, demonstrators in Vancouver called for change to a system they say isn't serving them.
With files from the Canadian Press and a report from CTV Vancouver's Scott Roberts