Dozens gather in Vancouver to protest Colten Boushie verdict

12 February, 2018, 01:09 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Dozens gather in Vancouver to protest Colten Boushie verdict

Turtle Island is an Indigenous term for North America.

The trial for Stanley heard that Boushie, a 22-year-old from Red Pheasant Cree Nation, was shot in the head while he was sitting in an SUV that had been driven onto Stanley's farm near Biggar, Sask.

"If we are making progress, why would it have exploded so much when he got shot?" asked Boushie's cousin Jade Tootoosis. Stanley testified the shooting was not intentional and his handgun accidentally went off.

In order to find Stanley guilty of second-degree murder, the jury will need to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Stanley meant to cause Boushie's death or meant to cause Boushie bodily harm that was likely to cause death.

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.

"Ultimately, Coco's death needs to have a objective", she said, using the family's nickname for Boushie.

"It was gut-wrenching for a lot of people". "We stand here and continue to advocate for him because we don't want this to happen to any individual anywhere".

Facebook event pages for rallies and vigils on February 10, Feb. 11 and later in the week quickly spread across social media in the wake of the decision, many labeled "Justice For Colten: Days of Action".

Boushie's family had previously expressed concern that the deck was stacked against them during the court process. But her heart was touched to see the support for Boushie across the country today, she said. Boushie's uncle Alvin Baptiste, seated, and Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand, centre, also spoke at the event. For Yerxa, justice can only look like the end of justifying the deaths of Indigenous people.

Doyle-Bedwell was one of the speakers at the the vigil. "Enough We're going to fight back", said a visibly upset Debbie Baptiste.

"The chief justice will go to great lengths to try to convince them to make a decision", Luther said.

While some are standing behind the jury's decision, others are calling for the federal government to intervene.

"Gerald Stanley's family has blood on their hands".

Dorene Bernard said people are invited to light candles and tie ribbons during a pipe ceremony and smudging.

"I'm not just angry, I'm enraged", Musqueam Nation member Audrey Siegl told a crowd on Hamilton Street in Vancouver. I was pretty well prepared for that. I have two sons and a daughter and I thought about them and the future for them.

She spent that time advocating for justice and now feels let down, but she won't give up, she said.

The Boushie verdict was hard to take as a First Nations person, Dewit said.

Vice-chief David Pratt of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations called for changes to the jury selection system. Murray Sinclair, the head of the groundbreaking Truth and Reconciliation commission.



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