BIGGAR, Sask. — Mounties in Saskatchewan are warning that some social media comments could be criminal in the wake of a fatal shooting of an aboriginal man on a farm earlier this month.
RCMP issued a news release on Saturday stating police are monitoring the situation related to events in the area of Biggar, which was where the shooting occurred.
Police say in the release that the social media comments are concerning, and they ask people to “remain respectful” in their online communication.
Colten Boushie, 22, was killed Aug. 10 after the vehicle he was in drove onto a farm.
Gerald Stanley has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the incident and was freed Friday on $10,000 bail.
The news release doesn’t mention whether police have received any complaints about online comments, and calls to the RCMP were not immediately returned.
“We can assure that the safety and security of the people of Saskatchewan is our number one priority,” the release states. “We take all complaints very seriously and we encourage anyone with concerns to contact (police).”
“We will not have anyone available for media interviews,” it concludes.
Last weekend, Premier Brad Wall took to Facebook to condemn some of the social media discussion of the case, calling comments he’d seen online “racist and hate-filled.”
Some comments on social media sites have been anti-First Nation, while others have supported vigilante justice against the suspect.
They continued following the bail decision.
Wall warned there could be repercussions for the people who post the hate-filled comments.
“There are laws that protect citizens from what this kind of hate may foment. They will be enforced,” Wall said on Facebook last Sunday.