Two women charged with inciting hatred after social media post called for “shoot an Indian day”

Two women have been arrested and charged after racist comments on a Facebook page called for “a 24-hour purge” and a “shoot an Indian day.”

RCMP say the women, along with another who has not yet been arrested, posted hateful comments online after some vehicles were vandalized.

A Manitoba woman, Destine Spiller ranted on a Flin Flon Facebook page, blaming the local First Nations community for damage to her car after it was spray-painted with large, black lettering on all sides.

(Destine Spiller/Facebook)

Spiller’s post escalated into racist and threatening language against First Nations people.

In the comments, she said that she was going to “kill some Indians when I get home” and talked about putting together a day to shoot “Indians.”

A second woman agreed with her, and suggested getting a shotgun and alcohol.

A Facebook user under the name Raycine Chaisson suggested “a 24-hour purge.” Destine Spiller commented “it’s time to keep the animals locked up or have a shoot an indian day!”

According to CTV News, RCMP haven’t released the names of the women but said a 25-year-old from Denare Beach, Sask and a 32-year-old from Flin Flon, are facing charges of uttering threats and public incitement of hatred.

The same charges are pending against a third person. All three suspects are cooperating with police.

Urban Trendz Hair Studio, a salon in Flin Flon, posted on Facebook that it had let go of an employee following the social media posts.

“Our business has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any form of discrimination or racism. The person in question is no longer employed by us.”

The other woman’s Facebook account stated she worked in Flin Flon as a mentor and as a substitute teacher in Creighton, Sask.

The Flin Flon and Creighton school divisions said they do not tolerate racist behavior and that the woman hasn’t worked with the divisions for “some time.”

The first woman apologized the next day, saying she was angry and upset about her vehicle being tagged.

However, several people had already called RCMP about the women’s comments.

Both women have since deleted their Facebook accounts.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is applauding RCMP actions in investigating and arresting the two women.

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RCMP investigate after officer reportedly wrote Facebook post that Colten Boushie ‘got what he deserved’

The RCMP is investigating reports an officer made a Facebook post saying Colten Boushie “got what he deserved.”

According to APTN News an RCMP officer on the Prairies posted the message, which said the shooting of the 22-year-old Indigenous man on a Saskatchewan farm should never have been about race.

Boushie, from the Red Pheasant First Nation, was shot and killed in 2016. Gerald Stanley, 56, was acquitted of second-degree murder in a verdict last week by an all-white jury, spurring protests across the country in what many believe was a racially motivated decision.

The female officer who made the post claims to police a First Nations community.

The RCMP told the Star that there are no officers with the name linked to the Facebook account, and didn’t confirm whether the woman worked as an officer under another name.

“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.

Facebook post from APTN

The comment was posted in a Facebook group called “News Stories that Matter to or May Impact RCMP,” and has since been deleted.

APTN did not disclose the person’s identity, but said two sources shared screenshots of the posting and revealed who the officer is.

“Obviously, this remark is absolutely appalling and unacceptable,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in a teleconference with journalists Thursday.

The RCMP’s statement in response to the story said on- and off-duty members must behave in accordance with the force’s code of conduct and that a member’s use of the internet for social networking is subject to the same standards.

It said members must avoid compromising the integrity of the RCMP or portraying themselves or the organization in a disgraceful or discreditable manner. When concerns about disrespectful content believed to be written by an RCMP employee are raised, “they are and will be investigated and addressed.”

“The RCMP is once again reminding people that they can and will be held responsible for their communications, both in-person and on-line, and police will investigate any complaints of suspected criminal behaviour,” it said.

How a Facebook lie about Thunder Bay woman killed by trailer hitch spread

(Barbara Kentner/Facebook)

Social-media user who posted fake story about Barbara Kentner admits he was ‘wrong’

Tia Nicholaichuk said she was struck by how quickly the rumours spread on Facebook about Barbara Kentner, the Anishinaabe woman who died this summer after she was struck by a trailer hit thrown from a moving car in northern Ontario.

The 34-year-old social work student from Thunder Bay, Ont. said she was also bothered by the tone of some Facebook comments directed at Kentner after her family announced she was dying and also after her death.

“The lies had been going around for quite a while.” said Nicholaichuk. “There’s been really nasty things being said.”

Kentner, 34, died at about 5 a.m. July 4 in the hospice and palliative care unit of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay. On Jan. 29, at about 1 a.m., she was struck by a trailer hitch thrown from a car on McKenzie St. The impact of the trailer hitch created internal injuries that led to a slow and painful death, according to Kentner’s family.

Earlier this month, the Crown prosecutor announced he was upgrading the charge against Brayden Bushby, 18, to second-degree murder in connection with the trailer hitch incident. Bushby, who turned himself into police shortly after the January incident, was initially charged with aggravated assault.

Tyler Jeffries, 35, from Thunder Bay admitted he was ‘wrong’ about his claims. (Courtesy of Tia Nicholaichuk)

Nicholaichuk said she decided to act after the Crown’s announcement. She noticed a Facebook comment from someone debunking a long-shared lie that Kentner had been previously involved in an assault on a 15-year-old boy that left him with a caved-in eye-socket. Nicholaichuk said she wanted to get to the “bottom of this” and began sifting through posts, primarily from the Real Concerned Citizens of Thunder Bay Facebook group.

“When I sat down and tried to trace this rumour and I kind of put all these screenshots together of misinformation being spread and just outright hate, it was really shocking,” said Nicholaichuk. “The whole story people were basing this on was fabricated. I realized I needed to get the word out there as soon as soon as possible.”

Origins of the fake story

Nicholaichuk provided CBC News with a number of posts she collected, many from the Real Concerned Citizens Facebook group.

It appears the rumour that Kentner had previously assaulted a boy began after a redacted copy of a court document sheet with Kentner’s name was posted on the Thunder Bay Courthouse — Inside Edition Facebook page in February. It claimed Kentner and two other women were facing several charges for allegedly assaulting and intimidating a Crown witness on Nov. 8, 2016. The posted copy had the victim’s name redacted.

CBC News obtained a copy of the original court document and it identified the victim as a woman.

One of the people who supported the story was Thunder Bay resident Tyler Jeffries, who also posted under the name Gregory Lusko. He claimed the boy was a child of a “friend of mine” and that he was “friends with the family.”

The story was repeated by several posters and some continue to believe it.

CBC News contacted Jeffries about his posts. He said he was “wrong” and that he never knew the family of the boy.

Tyler Jeffries says he no longer throws pennies at ‘hookers.’ (Courtesy Tanya Toneguzzi)

“I was bullshitting about that,” said Jeffries, in a telephone interview. “I heard it from a buddy and he heard from a buddy’s buddy.”

Jeffries, who says he has friends from “all ethnicities,” maintained his belief that Kentner was a “monster” because she allegedly intimidated a witness — something that was never proven in court.

“Do I go around throwing pennies at hookers at the age of 35, no, absolutely not,” said Jeffries, who was banned from the Real Concerned Citizens Facebook group.

‘I don’t really care if she was purple’

An eyewitness to the Nov. 8, 2016, incident, which occurred in a park across from the Thunder Bay courthouse, said Kentner did not assault anyone. Holly Papassay, Kentner’s sister-in-law, said she arrived at the park as the melee was unfolding. She said Kentner did nothing more than yell during the incident and she was arrested for simply being friends with one of the women involved.

Papassay said the social media lies and hate have hurt the family.

“Seeing all those posts, and knowing my nephews and my niece, Barb’s daughter, were seeing this was heartbreaking,” said Papassay, in a Facebook conversation with CBC News. “And it angered me…. That’s just sickening and shows how cowardly most of them are, to hide behind a screen and talk trash.”

Tanya Toneguzzi was another Facebook poster who believed Jeffries’ story. Toneguzzi bristled at the suggestion her posts reflect racism.

“I don’t really care if she was purple, it just so happens she was Native,” said Toneguzzi, in a Facebook conversation with CBC News. “If I was ‘ranting’ about a case such as Barbara’s, and the deceased person was Caucasian, do you really think people would be angry with me? No, it wouldn’t matter because the person was Caucasian.”

Tanya Toneguzzi believed the story of the 15-year-old boy. (Courtesy of Tia Nicholaichuk)

Toneguzzi said Bushby has also been bashed on social media.

“I’m sure that a lot of things said on social media hurt Bushby’s family,” she said. “The fact that people are trying to say that this was a ‘hate crime’ is unfair. We don’t even know the true facts in regards to the alleged incident.”

Racist posters blocked

Pino Demasi, one of the moderators of Real Concerned Citizens — which has over 13,000 members — said discussion on the page, while sometimes heated, is generally civil and he’s seen opinions evolve.

“There is a small group of people who are vocal about what they feel,” said Demasi. “I don’t think the comments of a few reflect the actual atmosphere of Thunder Bay. I think they are more of the louder people you see.”

Demasi said there are about 9,000 group members who are from Thunder Bay and the page sees roughly about 1,700 posts and between 60,000 to 100,000 comments a month.

He said the page’s banned poster list is about 2,000 people long and about 1,000 were blocked for racist comments.

“The majority, 30 to 40 per cent, are definitely toward Indigenous people,” said Damssi. “The No. 2 would be towards white people.”

Article By Jorge Barrera, published in CBC News on Nov 18, 2017

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Battlefords RCMP Deny Facebook Allegations Of Bad Treatment Of Native Woman

Battlefords RCMP respond to allegations against an unnamed officer posted on Facebook. (CBC)

Battlefords RCMP respond to allegations against an unnamed officer posted on Facebook. (CBC)

CBC News, Posted: Nov 13, 2015

Mounties issue news release giving their own version of events

Allegations on Facebook against RCMP over an incident in North Battleford have prompted the Mounties to issue a news release contradicting the allegations, and giving their own version of events.

The allegations appeared on the Facebook page of a closed group called North Battleford Uncensored Boots and Salutes.

The Facebook post accuses an RCMP officer of callous behaviour towards “an elderly native woman” found in distress by the side of the road on Carlton Trail Wednesday evening.

Two young men were apparently already on the scene, trying to help the woman, when the officer arrived.

According to the Facebook post, the men were trying to get the woman medical help, while the officer told them she would be taken to the detachment in the back of the police cruiser and spend the night in the “drunk tank”.

The Facebook account said the men refused to leave until an ambulance arrived and took the woman to hospital.

RCMP say officer tried to help

In a release issued at 6:30 p.m. CST Friday, the RCMP said the officer asked the woman if she was able to get inside the police vehicle so she could warm up.

The RCMP also said the officer called EMS for the woman, after which one of the men told her they had already called EMS.

“At no point on November 11, 2015 was this adult female in RCMP custody or cells”, the RCMP said in their release.

And while the Facebook post reported the woman’s ankles and legs were bound together by torn strips of cloth, the RCMP said the woman had “bandages on her legs from a pre-existing medical condition.”

It also said it takes all complaints about the actions of its members very seriously, and asked anyone who witnessed the incident or has information about it to contact the Battlefords detachment.

No one with the RCMP was available to comment further Friday evening.

City councillor looks into matter

The CBC attempted to contact the author of the Facebook post and the two men, without success.

However, city councillor Ray Fox said he had contacted the RCMP to look into the matter, just as the Mounties were preparing to issue their statement.

Fox told the CBC he thought it was unusual for the RCMP to put out a release in response to a Facebook post.

He said he knows the woman, and that she was still in hospital as of Friday afternoon.

Fox described her as someone with a “sad, sad history”, “the epitome of a street person” with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and a victim of violence.

He said people including himself had tried to help her, but “she’s unreachable almost”.

Fox also remarked that it would have been better if people had waited until the facts came out before passing judgement and posting on Facebook, saying “it’s being fuelled by almost a paranoia”.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/battlefords-rcmp-deny-facebook-allegations-of-bad-treatment-of-native-woman-1.3318967

Facebook Page Targeting Winnipeg Aboriginals Pulled Down

Before disappearing on Wednesday, the Facebook page had close to 5,000 members and was filled with negative comments about aboriginal people. (iStock)

Before disappearing on Wednesday, the Facebook page had close to 5,000 members and was filled with negative comments about aboriginal people. (iStock)

CBC News

A Facebook page that attacked aboriginal people in Winnipeg and re-ignited the racism debate in the city, has been pulled down.

The page, called “Aboriginals Need to get a job and stop using our tax dollars,” claimed support for Kelvin High School teacher Brad Badiuk who was suspended in January after making racist comments on his own Facebook page.

Facebook page

A screen grab of the controversial Facebook page. (Facebook)

The page was created in December — the same month Badiuk’s posting was made. Before disappearing on Wednesday, the page had close to 5,000 members and was filled with negative comments about aboriginal people.

Robert Sinclair, an aboriginal man, who came across the page on Tuesday, called it a hate crime and hopes the people behind it are held accountable.

Aboriginal Facebook page

A note on the Facebook page claims support for Brad Badiuk. (Facebook)

“Knowing the fact that people [were] looking at and supporting it, it doesn’t say a great deal of positive outlook for the way that Winnipeg is directing themselves,” he said.Just before it was pulled down, the page started getting a lot of posts critical of it, with at least one person calling the administrators “racist a—holes.”

A new Facebook page called Protest against “Aboriginals Need to get a job and stop using our tax dollars” started in response and was applauding the removal of the racist page.

‘Inspiring, important moment’

One aboriginal leader says he’s not angry by the page, but rather inspired by the opportunities it presents.

Niigaan Sinclair, who teaches indigenous literature, culture, history and politics at the University of Manitoba, said it used to be that no one talked about racism, that it was swept under the rug.

Now, people talk about racism and relationships every day, and that is the only way to make things better.

“I actually think this is a really inspiring important moment,” he told CBC News on Wednesday, adding he wants people to talk about what it means to be a meaningful citizen in this city.

Police Investigate Racist Facebook Pages Targeting Thunder Bay Aboriginal Community

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By tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY – Local police are investigating a racist Facebook page believed to be targeting minorities in this city.

In a news release issued Friday evening, Thunder Bay Police Service officials say they are in the preliminary stages of an investigation into racially charged comments that have been posted on two Facebook pages.

Police say the origin of these pages appear to be local, and target the Aboriginal community.

The pages are said to be extremely offensive and include posted photographs ridiculing Aboriginal people.

One post viewed by tbnewswatch.com staff, which we cannot verify as part of this investigation, mocks a missing persons report and questions why anyone would want the subject to be found.  Despite having viewed the post, tbnewswatch.com will avoid promoting this page by providing a link.

Police say while it is too early to determine if the Facebook pages are criminal, ‘the necessity to condemn this kind of activity is clear.’
The police media release continues: “As a community, we cannot tolerate the use of social media to express extreme racism. It is disappointing to say the least that this type of behavior is originating in our city. We must take a collective stand against this.

“The Thunder Bay Police Service has been in contact with city officials and the concerns are clear.”

Acting Mayor Paul Pugh says, “Targeting a person or group’s identity is unacceptable in our city and does not reflect our values or the views of most people in Thunder Bay.

“Our police service will investigate hate motivated crimes. This includes web based forms of communication which targets a race, religion or life style.

“This is early in the investigation and more information should be available regarding our progress this Monday.”

Tories Criticized Over ‘Fear-Mongering’ Facebook Post On Bill C-51, West Edmonton Mall Threat

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The Conservatives have tabled an anti-terror bill that will give Canada’s spy agency more power to thwart suspected terrorists.

| The Huffington Post Canada

A Conservative party Facebook post has spurred accusations that the government is using fear-mongering to promote its proposed anti-terror legislation.

And at least one Alberta Tory politician has publicly suggested his federal cousins have gone too far.

On Monday, a screengrab from a video by Somalia-based terror group al-Shabaab was posted to the official Facebook page of the federal Conservatives. The group, linked to al-Qaeda, attacked Kenya’s Westgate Mall in September 2013 and murdered close to 70 people.

The Facebook post highlighted a threat made near the end of the 77-minute video, posted to YouTube last week, in which a masked al-Shabaab spokesperson urges similar attacks on western shopping centres, including Alberta’s West Edmonton Mall.

“If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, then imagine what a dedicated mujahedeen in the West could do to the American or Jewish-owned shopping centres across the world,” the man says in the video.

“What if such an attack was to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota, or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, or in London’s Oxford Street, or any of the hundred or so Jewish-owned Westfield shopping centres dotted right across the western world?”

The threat forced the West Edmonton Mall to take extra security precautions last week.

At the bottom of the Facebook post, followers are told “Jihadi terrorists are threatening Canada” and asked to add to click a link to the Conservative website,where they can add their name to a petition supporting Bill C-51.

“Sign your name if you support our efforts to keep Canada glorious and free,” the site reads, with supporters invited to provide their names, emails, and postal codes. Such data is commonly collected by political parties to build up voter databases.

While many of the comments on the Facebook post were supportive of the party, others expressed reservations about the tactic.

“More fear-mongering,” wrote one man.

“Using fear to push your agenda is what terrorists do… anyone else see the hypocrisy here?” wrote another.

An apparent Tory supporter also said he’d vote for whatever party vows to repeal Bill C-51, if it passes in its current form.

Edmonton MLA Thomas Lukaszuk, who ran for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives, took to Twitter Tuesday to call the post troubling “on so many levels.”

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Lukaszuk was then challenged by a man who, according to CBC News, formerly served as a Wild Rose Party press secretary and federal Tory policy chair.

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But the Facebook post also yielded some strong reactions and questions from journalists online.

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Earlier this week, Tory MP Tim Uppal, who represents the riding of Edmonton-Sherwood Park, sent an email to party supporters urging them to sign the same Bill C-51 petition.

“Jihadi terrorists have declared war on Canada,” he wrote, echoing earlier comments from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “They hate us because of our values. They hate us because we love freedom and tolerance.”

A survey conducted for CBC News revealed Wednesday that nearly 50 per cent of Canadians feel less safe from the threat of terrorism than they did just two years ago.

But advocacy group Lead Now made waves this week with a unique ad warning Canadians not to be “manipulated” by politicians on this issue.

In January, Tories were accused of using the attacks in Paris as part of a fundraising drive after a “donate now” button appeared on a party website urging Canadians stand up to terrorism in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

Tory spokesperson Cory Hann told The Huffington Post Canada that the donation icon was a built-in feature that appears on every page of the Conservative site but was removed to avoid confusion.

“This was not, and is not, a fundraising campaign,” he said in an email.

Amid the controversy, federal Liberals also removed a donation button from a site featuring Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s comments after the Parliament Hill attack last fall.

Trudeau’s Liberals have announced they will vote for Bill C-51 and amend the legislation if they win the next election. Thomas Mulcair says his New Democrats will not support the bill, calling it “sweeping, dangerous, vague and ineffective.”

 

Facebook allegations spark protest outside Regina police headquarters

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By Teri Fikowski | Global News

REGINA – Allegations against two city officers travelled from the online world to the front steps of the Regina Police Service headquarters Wednesday.

Supporters of a woman who alleged police abuse gathered to protest how police handled the accusations, but officers say their response was necessary after the claims were widely shared through social media.

Lisa Dustyhorn posted the accusations against police on Facebook and said the alleged incident has left her 25-year-old daughter Brooke Watson traumatized.

“They took her and they terrorized her,” she explained to reporters. “She told them my address, and asked why can’t you take me to my mom’s, and they said four words to her; ‘Shut the ‘F’ up’.”

Dustyhorn claimed two officers drove her intoxicated  daughter away from the city Sunday morning, removed her boots and coat, and threatened to leave her outside.

“We have to have bigger minds, bigger leadership, bigger vision, than just protecting a couple bullies within their police department,” said protester Connie Deiter.

The police service called for an independent investigation and the chief responded to the accusations Tuesday, citing GPS data showing the officer’s vehicle remained within city limits.

The allegations echo the so called, “starlight tours” that rocked Saskatoon police in 1990 when young First Nations men were dropped off out-of-town.

However, David Gerhard, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Regina said recent events in North America may also play a role.

“This particular issue is, I think, relevant today because of the interactions with police having stories all over the world,” he added.  “Like in New York and other places, so the timing is more relevant in this one.”

Deputy Chief Dean Rae said the social media post was public and widely spread, so in a rare move police responded publically in an effort to alleviate any fear within the community.

“If they had brought the complaint to the Public Complaints Commission or to another police service, we wouldn’t be having this discussion today, the process would be undertaken and we wouldn’t have divulged any of our information.”

Rae adds the two officers accused are not facing a suspension as the investigation continues.