Gerald Stanley, Accused in Colten Boushie Case, to Stand Trial for Second Degree Murder

Colten Boushie’s family surrounded by support outside the North Battleford courthouse Aug. 18, 2016.

Gerald Stanley committed to stand trial for second degree murder of Colten Boushie

By Red Power Media, Staff | April 06, 2017

The Saskatchewan farmer charged in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie has been committed to stand trial.

650 CKOM reports, Gerald Stanley will stand trial in the Court of Queen’s Bench, in North Battleford, on the charge of second degree murder.

The ruling came down Thursday, on the last day of Stanley’s preliminary hearing.

On Aug. 9, 2016, Boushie, a resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation, was a passenger in a car with four other people when he was shot and killed on Stanley’s rural property after the group went to ask for help with a flat tire.

Gerald Stanley leaves North Battleford provincial court on the last day of his preliminary hearing Thursday. A judge ordered him to stand trial on second-degree murder. (Jason Warick/CBC )

The allegations against Stanley have not yet been proven in court.

A trial date has not been set, however the Crown said it would be fall 2017 at the earliest.

All evidence and testimony from Stanley’s preliminary hearing are under a publication ban.

The next scheduled appearance for Stanley is June 26, 1:30 in provincial court on two charges of unsafe storage of a firearm.

RCMP are also looking into laying hate-speech charges over racist comments made online about the Colten Boushie case.

RCMP say that Mounties have “looked into a number of instances of potential hate crimes” over the last few months in Saskatchewan. No charges have yet been laid.

RELATED:

The RCMP was accused of showing bias in its initial media release issued about the shooting.

The way RCMP initially described the shooting death of Boushie fueled racial tensions in Saskatchewan.

Social media exploded with rumours and posts that wished violence on Boushie’s friends and Indigenous people in general.

Hearing attracts rally

CBC News reports, a crowd of nearly 100 people carrying placards reading “Justice for Colten” and “Native Lives Matter!” gathered outside the courthouse on Thursday.

According to the Battlefords News-Optimist, a number of Indigenous leaders, including Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) officials and several area Chiefs, were in attendance decrying the racism they were seeing.

“This is tragic, but again it’s not the first time,” said FSIN vice-chief Heather Bear. She voiced support for laying charges for those who had promoted hate speech on social media in the wake of the tragedy.

At the rally Colten’s cousin Jade Tootoosis stood beside Colten’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, and read a statement on behalf of the family.

“While his death revealed a deep divide in this province, it also brought us here, to this court house where we can come together and ask for a fair trial for everyone involved. We, Colten’s family, hope that this preliminary hearing and the issues that it raises about our relationships with each other, will generate further discussion and dialogue to help us bring our communities together.”

Following the preliminary hearing, crowds broke into chants of “Justice for Colten” after they learned that Stanley had been committed to stand trial.

“I’m pretty sure my brother’s looking down now happy,” said Colten Boushie’s brother, William Boushie, to reporters following the proceedings.

RCMP barricades blocked the road in front of North Battleford Provincial Court for much of the hearing’s, while several officers were stationed outside the building and inside the hallways and courtroom.

The lawyer for the Boushie family, Chris Murphy, said he wasn’t aware of any threats and said he’s never before seen that amount of security at a court case.

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Hate Speech Vs. Freedom Of Speech In The Age Of Social Media

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Hate speech a difficult thing to define when balancing it with freedom of speech.

CBC News Posted: Aug 22, 2016

The social media firestorm following the shooting death of Colten Boushie, 22, has prompted questions of what constitutes hate speech in the digital age.

The racist and hateful statements in some comment sections have prompted Premier Brad Wall to speak out, writing on his Facebook page “racism has no place in Saskatchewan” last weekend. The RCMP have stated they are actively investigating all social media posts that could be considered hate speech.

Ken Norman is a professor at the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan. He said that for a comment to be considered hate speech, certain elements must be at play in the statement.

“There has to be some intention to engage in an extreme form of vilification or detestation, in the words of the Supreme Court,” he said. “There has to be some prospect that somebody might act on this, that it has to be a call for somebody to do something.”

Norman added our law does not allow people to say the most violent kinds of racist things without the law stepping up and that posts on social media can constitute hate speech as they are public statements.

“RCMP I think are rightly looking into this and should take very seriously this kind of level of hatred,” he said.

Balancing with freedom of speech

Norman said hate speech has been a difficult thing to define when balancing it with freedom of speech.

“I think there’s a balance that necessarily has to be put in place. After all – free speech is an important and vital democratic value. So people have to be given some leeway to say hurtful things,” he said.

He said our law draws an important line stating you cannot dehumanize an identifiable group of people with comments that promote violence.

Norman said social media postings of hate speech have not really been tested by the courts yet, and there have not been many convictions in Canada under the hate-crime provision. He added that the premier rightly indicated that these laws are on the books for a reason and they should be enforced.

“This is an issue for all of us to consider with regard to what the limits of speech need to be if we’re to live together as neighbours,” Norman said.

[SOURCE]

Social Media Comments Could Be Criminal: Mounties

Family, friends and supporters for Colten Boushie hold signs during a rally outside of the Saskatchewan Provincial Court in North Battleford,Thursday, August 18, 2016. People rally outside a Saskatchewan courthouse Thursday where a farmer accused of fatally shooting a First Nations man is to make an appearance. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards)

Family, friends and supporters for Colten Boushie hold signs during a rally outside of the Saskatchewan Provincial Court in North Battleford,Thursday, August 18, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards)

(CP) 8/20/16

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.

[SOURCE]

Bail Granted To Gerald Stanley, Man Accused In Colten Boushie Shooting

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Gerald Stanley is escorted into the Court of Queen’s Bench in Battleford for a bail hearing on Thursday. (Don Somers/CBC)

54-year-old accused may not possess weapons, must avoid contact with Boushie’s family

CBC News Posted: Aug 19, 2016

Gerald Stanley, the man charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, has been granted bail.

The 54-year-old accused entered a not guilty plea at North Battleford court on Thursday before being transported to the Court of Queen’s Bench in Battleford for a bail hearing.

After hearing nearly two hours of arguments, judge Neil Gabrielson’s decision was released early Friday evening, setting Stanley’s bail at $10,000 and containing a number of conditions.

Stanley must stay within 6.4 kilometres of his home property, and have no direct contact with the family of Colten Boushie or any witnesses to the incident. He must also not travel within 32 kilometres of the Red Pheasant First Nation — where Boushie was from.

The accused also must not possess any weapons and enrol in the electronic monitoring program.

Defence lawyer Scott Spencer said the decision was not a legal victory, just procedure.

“The family is pleased with the decision,” Spencer said shortly after it was released.

“This decision allows us to properly prepare his defence.”

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Vice-Chief Kimberly Jonathan has asked for people not to retaliate.

“Again this isn’t the result we wanted but I am calling for calmness and peace in the face of what feels like injustice,” Jonathan said. She advised community members to “take the high road and keep peace.”

More than 200 people rallied outside the courthouses during Stanley’s appearances on Thursday, calling for “justice for Colten.”

Boushie was a passenger in a car with four other people when he was shot and killed on Aug. 9 on a farm near Biggar, Sask. His family says the group was going to ask for help with a flat tire.

His death has sparked racially charged exchanges online, leading to statements of condemnation from Premier Brad Wall, NDP interim leader Trent Wotherspoon and the National Farmers Union.

Stanley makes his next court appearance Sept. 13.

Many of the people gathered outside court as Gerald Stanley made his first appearance rallied for an end to racism in Saskatchewan. (CBC)

Many of the people gathered outside court as Gerald Stanley made his first appearance rallied for an end to racism in Saskatchewan. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/judge-deliberates-gerald-stanley-bail-1.3727944

Racial Tensions Flare In Saskatchewan After Killing Of First Nations Man

Colten Boushie was killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask. on Aug. 9. (Facebook)

Colten Boushie was killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask. on Aug. 9. (Facebook)

The Canadian Press, Aug. 14, 2016

Racial tensions are flaring in Saskatchewan after the fatal shooting of a First Nations man who relatives say was just looking for help with a flat tire.

Colten Boushie, 22, was killed Tuesday after the vehicle he was in drove onto a farm in the rural municipality of Glenside, west of Saskatoon.

Boushie’s cousin, Eric Meechance, said he and three other friends were also in the car, heading home to the Red Pheasant First Nation after an afternoon spent swimming at a river.

But Meechance said they had a tire blow out and that’s how they ended up at the farm.

“That guy just come out of nowhere and he just smashed our window,” said Meechance.

Meechance said they tried to drive away, but ended up colliding with a parked car. He then ran for safety as gunshots rang out.

“Running is probably what saved all of our lives, you know, because if he’s going to shoot one, he’s probably would have shot us all,” he said.

“He wasn’t shooting to scare us. He was shooting to kill.”

Gerald Stanley, 54, is charged with second-degree murder. He is to make his next court appearance in North Battleford on Aug. 18.

Meechance said Boushie was a hard worker, mowing lawns and cutting wood to earn money.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise $10,000 to help Boushie’s family cover funeral expenses.

Another GoFundMe page has been set up to help Stanley’s wife. The hope is to raise $35,000.

That page has been set up by someone who said they live in the area. It says “much of the farming community around us who know this family know they (are) loving and deserving of some help through a difficult time.”

First Nations leaders say the RCMP news release about the shooting was biased.

The first police news release said that people in the car had been taken into custody as part of a theft investigation.

Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said the RCMP statement “provided just enough prejudicial information” for people to draw the conclusion that the shooting was somehow justified.

“The messaging in an RCMP news release should not fuel racial tensions,” he said.

Chief Clint Wuttunee of the Red Pheasant First Nation said the media’s initial portrayal of the event, based on the RCMP release, made the incident sound like a crime was about to be committed by the passengers in the car.

The FSIN wants a review of the RCMP’s communication policies and writing guidelines.

Supt. Rob Cameron in Regina told reporters late Friday that being called biased is “deeply concerning.”

He wouldn’t comment on specifics of the case but said that RCMP handled the investigation fairly and competently.

“We have heard the concerns of the FSIN and we welcome the opportunity to discuss them and work together to address them,” Cameron said.

National Chief Perry Bellegarde, with the Assembly of First Nations, said he was particularly disturbed by “racist, derogatory comments” about the incident on social media. It’s a stark reminder of “how much work we have to do to eliminate racism and discrimination,” he said.

“In too many ways, this is a sad day for Saskatchewan,” he said in a statement.

Robert Innes, a University of Saskatchewan indigenous studies professor in Regina, said the situation shows the community divide.

“You can see that the racial tension is basically a tinder box in Saskatchewan,” said Innes.

Speaking generally, Innes said some farmers are blaming First Nations people for rural crime. Their mentality is to protect their property, he said.

“So there’s this real fear and contempt towards indigenous men by many white people, to the point where they will shoot before asking questions.”

Innes said indigenous people are angry that Boushie was killed.

He notes that some Caucasians are angry that the young people were even on the farm and believe Stanley is being railroaded by political correctness.

“A lot of people who are talking on social media are happy that the person was shot and killed and believe it was justified. That, to me, is kind of disturbing in a lot of ways.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/racial-tensions-flare-in-saskatchewan-after-killing-of-first-nations-man/article31401323/?cmpid=rss1

Family Looking For Justice After Deadly Shooting Of Colten Boushie, Near Biggar, Sask

Colten Boushie was killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask. on Aug. 9. (Facebook)

Colten Boushie was killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask. on Aug. 9. (Facebook)

Funeral held for Colten Boushie

Red Power Media, Staff | August 13, 2016

A Saskatchewan First Nation held a funeral for Colten Boushie, shot dead Tuesday, on a property in the Rural Municipality of Glenside, —near Biggar Sask— about 90 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

According to CBC News, RCMP said five individuals came on to a private property and were confronted by the property owners.

Boushie, 22-years-old, was shot and pronounced dead at the scene.

“The news release the RCMP issued the following day provided just enough prejudicial information for the average reader to draw their own conclusions that the shooting was somehow justified,” wrote FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron in a media release.

The occupants of the vehicle, including Boushie, were not known to the property owners and a verbal exchange broke out resulting in a firearm going off striking Boushie who was inside the vehicle.

Biggar RCMP charged a man with second-degree murder. He briefly appeared in North Battleford Provincial Court on Aug 11th.

Courtney Markewich reports, Family of Boushie, from as far away as Alberta and the northwest U.S., gathered on the Red Pheasant First Nation Saturday morning for the young man’s funeral.

CaptureCBC

Debbie Baptiste described her son, Colten Boushie, as a “good guy” who liked to help out his community on the Red Pheasant First Nation.

Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, said it wasn’t long ago that her son was one of the men in the community helping with other people’s funerals.

“We have our traditional ways out here, how we do things around here. And one of the things [is] when we’re burying somebody, a fire is lit and somebody has to watch it all night until morning,” Baptiste explained.

“So my sons would do that,” she said. “They’d sit out at that fire and they didn’t even know the person who was laying in there who they were burying, but they wanted to help and that’s how they’d help out.”

This time the fire was lit for her son, who Baptiste said was a well-educated and caring young man.

Family from as far away as Alberta and the northwest U.S. gathered on the Red Pheasant First Nation Saturday morning for the funeral of Colten Boushie. (OLIVIER FERAPIE/RADIO-CANADA)

Family from as far away as Alberta and the northwest U.S. gathered on the Red Pheasant First Nation Saturday morning for the funeral of Colten Boushie. (OLIVIER FERAPIE/RADIO-CANADA)

Looking for Justice 

Many mourners on the First Nation said there are a lot of questions about what happened the day Boushie was killed and how the RCMP handled releasing information about it.

“We don’t want this to be swept under the rug,” Alvin Baptiste, Boushie’s uncle, said.

“We’re focused on laying Colten to rest right now but now my family will stand up and they’re ready to support and rally for justice.”

Go Fund Me campaigns

Go Fund Me page was started for Boushie’s family asking for donations so they could host a proper post-funeral feast and other funeral expenses.

As of Friday night the Go Fund Me page raised $8,690 of its $10,000 goal. While the family’s fundraising campaign was embraced on social media, another campaign was quickly launched and shut down.

The alleged shooter’s campaign, apparently to raise money to pay for his legal defence, reached $1,000 before it was shut down. The crowdfunding site has a policy against fundraising in support of people accused of being involved in criminal activities.

Gerald Stanley, 54, of Biggar, has been remanded into custody until Aug 18th.

A facebook event called Justice for Colten has also been made with a rally outside the Provincial Court House in North Battleford on Aug 18th at 9 AM. 

FSIN Accuse The RCMP Of Fuelling Racial Tensions After Fatal Biggar, Sask Shooting

RCMP investigate the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Colten Boushie near Biggar, Sask. Global News

RCMP investigate the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Colten Boushie near Biggar, Sask. Global News

Global News, August 12, 2016

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) accused the RCMP of fueling racial tensions in the initial press release in the investigation in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.

Boushie, a member of the Red Pheasant First Nation, was killed late Tuesday afternoon on a rural property near Biggar, Sask in the RM of Glenside.

“The news release the RCMP issued the following day provided just enough prejudicial information for the average reader to draw their own conclusions that the shooting was somehow justified. The messaging in an RCMP news release should not fuel racial tensions,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a statement released Friday.

The FSIN said the August 10 news release was biased, and are calling for a review of communications policies and writing guidelines.

According to police, a vehicle with five people entered the property at around 5:30 p.m. CT.

They were confronted by the owners and a verbal exchange happened between the parties.

A gun was fired at some point, striking Boushie who had arrived in the vehicle.

He was declared dead at the scene.

Gerald Stanley, 54, is charged with second-degree murder. He made his first appearance in North Battleford provincial court, and is in remand until his next appearance on August 18.

Three occupants from the vehicle, one female youth, one adult female, and one adult male, were taken into custody on a related theft investigation. All three were released Wednesday.

The RCMP said charges are still considered pending further investigation.

“The media’s initial portrayal of the event made the incident sound like a crime was about to be committed by the passengers in the car,” Red Pheasant First Nation Chief Clint Wuttunee said in a statement. “The media based their reports on the RCMP’s news release.”

“We will be meeting with FSIN and discussing their concerns and looking at ways we can move forward. Looking at that hopefully there are ways we can come to a solution,” Supt. Rob Cameron said on Friday night.

Supt. Cameron described the situation as “concerning” and the RCMP were quick to have preliminary discussions with the FSIN earlier on Friday.

“There was perception that it was theft related and these youth were there for ulterior motives, but that wasn’t the case,” FSIN Vice Chief Kimberly Jonathan said about Wednesday’s press release.

“So there was discussions on communications and the push that a hate crime be investigated,” Jonathan added.

Supt. Cameron said the RCMP would not comment further on the shooting investigation, as its ongoing, and will let the court process run its course.

http://globalnews.ca/news/2880853/fsin-accuse-the-rcmp-of-fuelling-racial-tensions-after-fatal-biggar-sask-shooting/