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Bail decision reserved for suspect in shooting death of First Nations man on farm – CP

by ahnationtalk on August 19, 2016278 Views

Source: The Canadian Press
Aug 19, 2016 1:01

By Jennifer Graham

THE CANADIAN PRESS

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. _ Supporters of a First Nations man shot on a Saskatchewan farm shouted at his accused killer as the man was led out of court by police Thursday.

Gerald Stanley, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, tried to cover his head with the hood of his sweatshirt outside Court of Queen’s Bench in Battleford, Sask.

The bail hearing ended with a judge saying he would release a written decision Friday or early next week.

“Though it’s not necessarily the answer we wanted to see, it’s important that we do respect the process, the investigation,” Boushie family spokesman Sheldon Wuttunee said after the hearing.

Wuttunee also called for calm.

“And it’s very important that we do continue to move forward in a peaceful way. We can still request (justice) loud, but we need to do it peacefully.”

All evidence presented at the hearing is subject to a publication ban.

Earlier in the day, Stanley, 54, appeared in provincial court in nearby North Battleford, where he pleaded not guilty as hundreds of people rallied outside, holding signs and chanting “Justice for Colten.”

Boushie was killed Aug. 9 after the vehicle he was in drove onto a farm in the rural municipality of Glenside, west of Saskatoon.

A cousin, who was one of four other people in the car, has said they were heading home to the Red Pheasant First Nation after an afternoon of swimming when they got a flat tire and were looking for help.

Stanley’s relatives issued a statement through his lawyer Thursday expressing condolences to the Boushie family, saying they would not comment publicly for now.

“While the circumstances of the incident are not as simple as some media reports have portrayed, the Stanley family will reserve comment until completion of the criminal process,” the statement said.

“Although the rampant speculation and misinformation is frustrating, it is not the place for, or reasonable to expect, the Stanley family to correct the public record.”

The family concluded that it hopes everyone will reserve judgment until the facts of the matter are established.

Racial tensions flared after Boushie was killed.

Some comments on social media sites have been anti-First Nation, while others have supported vigilante justice against the suspect.

One widely circulated screen grab from a Saskatchewan farmers group on Facebook said: “His only mistake was leaving three witnesses.” That group has since been closed.

Dustin Ross Fiddler was at the rally outside court to support Boushie’s family and said racism in the province is not unusual.

“You know, other young First Nations people, we share stories about what it’s like to be discriminated against, to hear the racist comments we get on our Facebooks, to get messages at all times of the night for posting something pro-indigenous and questioning why we would say something like that,” he said.

“It’s a part of living in Saskatchewan, sadly.”

First Nations leaders have said the first RCMP news release about the shooting was biased. The release said people in the car had been taken into custody as part of a theft investigation. They were released without charges.

Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said the RCMP statement “provided just enough prejudicial information” for people to draw the conclusion that the shooting was somehow justified.

RCMP Supt. Rob Cameron said police handled the investigation fairly and competently.

Outside court in North Battleford, William Boushie said his brother’s killing “took the light from my eyes.”

“He went to have a good time at the lake. He promised me he was going to come home. Instead he comes home in a casket. Racism plays a part in this,” he said.

“I hope I can find forgiveness in my heart in the long run but, right now, I’m grieving. I’m hurt … I’ll never get him back.”

Another man, who didn’t want to be identified, said there are two sides to every story and no one has yet heard Stanley’s version of what happened.

“Not once through this whole incident have you ever heard, from the press, from you people, innocent until proven guilty. Not once, and that’s Canadian law,” said the man, as he leaned against a pickup truck in a parking lot across the street from the courthouse.

 

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