In 2016, a 22-year-old Red Pheasant First Nation man by the name of Colten Boushie was shot and killed by a 56-year-old farmer by the name of Gerald Stanley. Stanley was acquitted of second-degree murder last week by an all-white jury. The acquittal sparked outrage all over the world, most noticeably on social media.
In addition to the outrage, the RCMP is investigating reports that an officer made a post suggesting Colten Boushie “got what he deserved” in a Facebook group tilted “News Stories that Matter to or May Impact RCMP,” which has an approximate 1,200 members. According to an APTN report, the woman making the comment was allegedly an officer.
Her comment read: “Too bad the kid died but he got what he deserved. How many of us work on or near reserves and are getting fed up with the race card being used every time someone gets caught breaking the law?,” she said.
— APTN National News (@APTNNews) February 15, 2018
“Obviously, this remark is absolutely appalling and unacceptable,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in a teleconference with journalists Thursday as was reported in The Star. “It’s under very, very serious investigation to determine exactly what has happened here, and who is responsible for it.”
Since the initial post, The RCMP told the Star that there are no officers with the name linked to the Facebook account, but since that time, the user also put up the post of a gun silhouette, stating, “This home is protected by the good Lord and a gun. If you came here to steal or do harm you might meet them both.”
In the past week and a half since the non-guilty verdict, social media has erupted with pro and con sentiments for both Colten Boushie and Gerald Stanley. Many of the posts contain the hashtag #JusticeForColtenBoushie.
In Canada you can still legally murder Natives. White farmer shoots him in the back of the head and then the justice system points a gun at the rest of us just to remind us our lives have no value. #JusticeForColtenBoushie https://t.co/8Ik0jSgrBc
— Anwaan Jiimiz (@SixEightSuited) February 10, 2018
The details of the killing. The way the RCMP treated his family. The court proceedings & verdict. Every single detail makes me shake with rage.
No one should be treated like this. And to be so callously degraded by settlers on your lands? The mind reels. #JusticeForColtenBoushie
— Jared A. Walker (@JAWalker) February 10, 2018
Gerald Stanley found not guilty in death of Colten Boushie – https://t.co/RB0ZHJYxyR
— Delores Schilling (@DelSchilling) February 10, 2018
In an interview with CBC News, National Chief Perry Bellegarde called the Colten Boushie verdict ‘wrong.’