Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Vigil calls for justice in Boushie death

Vigil calls for justice in Boushie death

In a scene played out across the country Saturday, about 250 people gathered in front of the Victoria courthouse to protest after a white farmer was acquitted in the shooting death of a young Indigenous man.

Rallies are being held across Canada this weekend in the wake of a jury finding Gerald Stanley not guilty of the second-degree murder of Colten Boushie. A jury in Battleford Court of Queen's Bench found Stanley not guilty on Friday.

There were protests across the country after Saskatchewan farmer, Gerald Stanley, 56, was cleared of second degree murder charges on Friday for shooting Colten Boushie, 22, in the back of the head in August, 2016. He said the fatal shot occurred when he reached into the SUV to grab the keys out of the ignition and his gun "just went off".

"That wasn't a freak accident", Baptiste said.

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"We need to remember we're all human", said Raylene Hunter. "As a country we can and must do better - I am committed to working everyday to ensure justice for all Canadians". "We commit to the spirit of love, we commit to the spirit of change and we commit to a spirit of growth".

Upon hearing the verdict, protests and demonstrations formed across Canada, many of whom demanding equality for Indigenous peoples and justice for the family.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the call at a news conference in Los Angeles.

"This is the time to recognize that we are all victims in a colonial system of division", he told the crowd. "We're calling on Premier Scott Moe to work on racism in the province of Saskatchewan". "Still, I would like Stanley and others to accept the responsibility, take hold of what they did, and that they can bring peace to both communities", Littlewood said.

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Similar rallies to the one in Vancouver are planned in several Canadian cities including Ottawa, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Toronto. Mr. Clark said this is a defining moment for this community and this country.

"Where the state is no longer able to respond to problems in society ... where the police aren't able to respond to all of the complaints by citizens in a timely manner, citizens start thinking to themselves well, if they can't do it, I have to protect my own property", he said.

That's how National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde described his feelings upon hearing the verdict in the Colten Boushie murder trial on Friday night.

"What you're hearing today is solidarity".

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"You can't go from that fact to say the verdict was wrong". She spent that time advocating for justice and now feels let down, but she won't give up, she said.

"This is a critical moment and we can't accept this injustice".

She expressed doubts about a fair trial after the 12-person jury appeared to lack any Indigenous members. "We can only imagine what Colten's family is going through". They also said the case has exposed a lack of progress in Trudeau's reconciliation effort.

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