Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Montreal rally demands justice for Colten Boushie

Montreal rally demands justice for Colten Boushie

The killing of Colten Boushie and the trial showed the strong racial divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. The incident occurred on Stanley's farm in August 2016.

A member of the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's security detail looks on as he walks to Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.

"It was a very good meeting", Ms. Baptiste said.

"It's time for justice".

"How many other families are wallowing in the darkness of Canada's justice system because of race, because of who they are, due to their gender?" said Gabriel.

The elimination of peremptory challenges would not help indigenous people or visible minorities in the justice system, lawyers say.

Rather than giving any consideration to the now grieving family, the police burst into the family's trailer and asked Colten's sobbing mother whether she was drunk, going so far as to smell her breath when she said she was not. "In that sense, I guess I can relate", Samuel Olson said in an interview. CBC News has not independently determined the reason for their exclusion. "This does not end here", said Jade Tootoosis Brown, Colten Boushie's cousin. Sometimes, she said, people have to educate themselves.

There are very few countries in the world fortunate enough to be home to an indigenous culture and there is much we could learn from our First Nations neighbours, if we could see beyond our own prejudices.

"Those reforms are coming. It's extremely unsafe. It is short-sighted and it's actually counter-productive to the objectives to ensure that First Nations people get fairer treatment within the justice system".

Chris Murphy, the family's lawyer, said it was important that people see that the February 9 verdict acquitting Gerald Stanley in Boushie's shooting death was only "a small part" of injustices the family has faced. "These are discussions that we're having", she said.

If only men sat on juries for women, don't you think there'd be people up in arms?

The challenges confronting our First Nations people are complex and long-standing. The study became public a decade later as evidence in a couple cases challenging - without success - what lawyer Bob Hrycan called "systemic under-representation" of Indigenous people in the jury selection process.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and Boushie's family have raised concerns about the trial because there were no visibly Indigenous jurors selected. "I am committed to working everyday to ensure justice for all Canadians".

A number of Conservative MPs expressed similar sentiments but cautioned the Liberal government against tweeting about the verdict.

Conservative MP Cathy McLeod, the critic for Indigenous affairs, responded to the speech by promoting the record of the previous government, saying it was former prime minister Stephen Harper who delivered the apology for the Indian residential schools system and established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine its legacy of abuse.

"To have an attorney general who doesn't recognize that or acknowledge it would be deeply concerning".

The family was scheduled to sit down later Tuesday with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Others left messages including "Private Property Matters" and "It's not racism, Just cause they say it is".

Murphy said he's been in contact with Conservative MP Rosemarie Falk, who represents the area the Boushie and Stanley families are from.

Colten Boushie's family argues the defence weeded out any visibly Indigenous person from standing in judgment of Stanley by using such challenges. The young people caught Stanley's attention when he heard a vehicle start; believing it was being stolen, the farmer confronted them. Stanley fired two warning shots.

Boushie was sitting in the driver's seat of the SUV when he was killed by a single gunshot to the head. Stanley testified he never meant to shoot anyone and that the handgun he was holding went off a third time, accidentally, when he tried to reach for the keys to the SUV.

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