Family of Colten Boushie files lawsuits against Gerald Stanley and RCMP

Gerald Stanley walks out of North Battleford provincial court after his first preliminary hearing on April 3, 2017. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

Almost two years after the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie his family has filed lawsuits against Gerald Stanley and the RCMP seeking total damages of more than $1.86 million.

The Star Phoenix reports, Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, and two of Boushie’s brothers are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the RCMP. Baptiste is the lone plaintiff in the lawsuit against Stanley.

Boushie, 22, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2016 while sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV that was driven onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Sask.

In February, Stanley was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Boushie.

According to a statement of claim filed late Wednesday in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench, the lawsuit against Stanley claims the “death of Colten Boushie is a direct result of the negligent, reckless or intentional acts of the defendant, Gerald Stanley.”

In the suit, the family claims Stanley failed to assess or monitor the risk of the situation and failed to contact police to deal with any potential risk. In the lawsuit, the family claims Stanley then used “excessive force when it was uncalled for,” shot Boushie at “point blank range” in the back of his head when he wasn’t a threat and did not administer or call for any medical assistance. It also says that Stanley’s wife, Leesa, is a registered nurse and didn’t take any action to provide life-saving measures.

The suit is seeking over $400,000, including $30,000 in damages to be paid directly to Baptiste, $20,000 in funeral expenses, $60,000 in grief counselling, $60,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, $100,000 in lost employment earnings for Baptiste, and $200,000 in “aggravated, exemplary and punitive damages to be proven at trial.”

Debbie Baptiste, the mother of Colten Boushie, holds a photo of him outside provincial court in North Battleford on April 6, 2017. (CTV Saskatoon)

A separate court filing by the family is also calling for $1.45 million in damages to be paid by members of the RCMP.

The lawsuit lists seven RCMP officers as defendants, along with the Attorney General of Canada, and alleges they conducted an “unlawful search” of Baptiste’s home the night of Boushie’s shooting.

The plaintiffs claim the RCMP “deliberately engaged in discrimination by subjecting three proud members of the Red Pheasant First Nation to ridicule, unlawful searches, and humiliating breath tests.”

None of the claims made in the lawsuit have been proven in a court of law.

The defendants have 30 days to respond.

In a statement to media, RCMP said “Our sympathies remain with the family and friends of Colten Boushie, who have suffered such a tragic loss.”

“We are fully cooperating with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (CRCC). The CRCC is investigating the death of Mr. Boushie and the events that followed, including the next of kin notification, the search of the family residence, and the dissemination of media releases. The RCMP’s handling of an initial complaint filed by a family member is also under review by the CRCC,” the statement reads.

RCMP said they had no further comment on the lawsuit, since it was before the courts.

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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.

RCMP charge man in connection with hit and run death of Brady Francis

Brady Francis, of Elsipogtog First Nation, is shown in this undated handout image. CP/Garnett Augustine

A 56-year-old man is facing charges in connection with the hit-and-run death of Brady Francis from Elsipogtog First Nation.

According to media reports Maurice Johnson of Saint-Charles, N.B., has been charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily harm or death.

Francis a well-liked 22-year-old was hit by a pickup truck on Feb. 24 as he departed a party in Saint-Charles, N.B., a predominantly francophone town about 12 kilometres south of the Elsipogtog reserve.

RCMP say it’s believed the Mi’kmaq youth was waiting for a drive home when he was struck.

Johnson is scheduled to appear in Moncton Provincial Court on July 10, 2018 to enter a plea.

Following Francis’s death, rallies and vigils were organized across the province, and people pleaded for the driver who hit Brady to come forward and confess.

Social media posts were circulating following the incident with pictures of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine and Francis side by side, and many were tweeting #justiceforbrady, echoing hashtags used after the recent Prairie verdicts.

Earlier this year, RCMP completed an investigation into the hit-and-run and handed the file over to Crown prosecutors to review possible charges.

This is the first charge laid in the case — four months after Francis was struck.

The news was welcomed with relief in the community.

“We’re extremely happy,” said Ruth Levi, a band councillor and director of social services at the Elsipogtog reserve.

Police say Johnson is the same person that was arrested and released without charges back in March. It was also his truck that was seized as part of the RCMP investigation.

Burnaby won’t cover policing costs related to Trans Mountain protests

An RCMP officer reads a court order to Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, right, and NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, second from right, before they were arrested after joining protesters outside Kinder Morgan’s facility in Burnaby, B.C., on March 23, 2018.

The City of Burnaby, where protests and arrests have been taking place over work under way to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline, has ruled out paying policing costs related to managing the activism, says its mayor.

Like many B.C. communities, Burnaby is policed by the RCMP, and is normally on the hook for expenses, but Mayor Derek Corrigan – a vocal critic of the pipeline project – says he is drawing the line at overtime and other RCMP costs related to Trans Mountain as a project the city opposes.

“We’re not paying for the additional policing costs that are being accumulated as a result of the protests at the Trans Mountain project,” Mr. Corrigan said in an interview. “I don’t think there is anybody in the Western world who doesn’t know now that Burnaby is not paying.”

He casts the position as a reflection of Burnaby’s opposition to the project as well as the view that the Trudeau government, which approved the project, should be picking up the costs to deal with protests against it.

This isn’t the first time the issue has come up. The B.C. government says there is an outstanding $800,000 bill for policing 2014 protests related to the project that “remains in dispute,” according to a statement from the provincial Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor-General.

“The province is aware of Burnaby’s views on paying for these policing matters and we confirm there is an outstanding non-payment with respect to 2014,” said the provincial statement issued by Colin Hynes for the Ministry of Public Safety.

In their statement, the provincial public safety and Solicitor-General’s ministry said the Police Act in B.C. compels municipalities with populations over 15,000 to pay for the cost of policing within their boundaries. “This includes the cost of policing matters related to civil disobedience.”

However, the ministry said the dispute will not affect policing. “It is important to note that regardless of any disagreement over funding, policing services will continue uninterrupted and will be unaffected by any funding disagreement.”

Ironically, British Columbia’s NDP government has been sharply opposed to the expansion of the pipeline – a policy that has pitted them against the NDP government in Alberta, which is a proponent for the project.

Mr. Corrigan’s stand comes amidst increasing protests over the project. According to the Burnaby RCMP, 54 demonstrators against the project were arrested on Saturday for breaching a court-ordered injunction that prohibits protesters from coming within five metres of a pair of terminals in Burnaby operated by project proponent Kinder Morgan. Last Friday, federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and NDP MP Kennedy Stewart were arrested in protests.

The Trans Mountain expansion project, which has been approved by the federal government, will triple the capacity of the pipeline to about 900,000 barrels from 300,000. In recent weeks, one protest drew more than 5,000 people – and a police presence to manage the gathering.

Ali Hounsell, a spokesperson for the Trans Mountain project, said in a statement issued Sunday that “Trans Mountain’s view is that policing is a local government cost. “

Mr. Corrigan said the Mounties have told him they may take the matter to dispute resolution. While he said he has no details on that process, an RCMP spokesperson in B.C. pointed out there are provisions for working through disputes in the service agreement on municipal policing in B.C.

The mayor also said he is skeptical about RCMP assurances that dealing with the protests won’t distract from routine policing needs in Burnaby.

“They’re telling me, no, they are not diminishing any of the resources that are available to the community. But I can’t help but think this takes a toll in being able to deal with these issues,” Mr. Corrigan said. “While I am being assured that it is now, I am suspicious that it is.”

In a series of e-mail responses to Globe and Mail questions on the issue, a spokesperson for the RCMP E-Division covering B.C. said the force is dealing with protests now and looking to eventually deal with costs.

“The RCMP goal for any demonstrations is to ensure that they take place in a peaceful, lawful and safe manner. We will deploy the resources necessary to accomplish this,” Sergeant Janelle Shoihet said in an e-mail.

Sgt. Shoihet said the Burnaby RCMP don’t have contingency funds for their responsibilities but, rather, respond to calls for service and rolls salaries, expenses and other costs into an annual policing budget for the detachment.

“As you can imagine, it’s difficult to predict how many calls for service we’ll get in relation to one specific event or a series of events and therefore difficult to predict how many resources we’ll need to respond.”

Mr. Corrigan said the protests against Trans Mountain are going to get worse.

“This is the overture to what ‘s going to happen later on. I anticipate there will only be an escalation of the protests over the next months. This problem is only going to become progressively worse.”

The Globe and Mail 

[SOURCE]

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.

Nova Scotia RCMP to Offer Eagle Feather Option for Swearing Legal Oaths

In what is being described as a first for the RCMP, the Mounties in Nova Scotia are now offering victims, witnesses and police officers the option to swear legal oaths on an eagle feather, instead of using a Bible or offering an affirmation.

The RCMP say the eagle feather will be used in the same way as a Bible or affirmation, and may also be offered as a source of comfort at local detachments.

A special smudging ceremony was held Monday at Nova Scotia RCMP Headquarters, where the province’s lieutenant governor, Arthur LeBlanc, was joined by provincial Justice Minister Mark Furey and Chief Leroy Denny, on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations.

As part of the ceremony, Indigenous elder Jane Abram of Millbrook First Nations cleansed eagle feathers through a smudging ceremony, and Keptin Donald Julien, executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, offered a blessing.

LeBlanc said the use of eagle feathers marks a significant step toward reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

As the ceremony concluded, eagle feathers were distributed to detachment commanders throughout the province.

“The eagle feather is a powerful symbol and reflects the spirituality and tradition of the Mi’kmaq people,” Furey said in a statement. “I believe the use of the eagle feather is an important step forward in helping our justice system be more responsive and sensitive to Indigenous cultures.”

The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

Brother of Indigenous man shot and killed in North Battleford claims RCMP chased wrong car

Brother claims RCMP chased wrong car

The brother of an Indigenous man shot and killed by RCMP during a police chase in North Battleford claims officers were pursuing the wrong car.

“The story of him being a suspect, of chasing a guy, is wrong. It just so happens he was in a white, four-door car in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Landin Blanko told CTV News on Monday.

“He was an innocent man, shot and being blamed for something he didn’t actually do.”

Brydon Whitstone

Saskatchewan RCMP shoot and kill Indigenous man in North Battleford

 

Brydon Whitstone, 22, of Onion Lake, Sask., is dead after North Battleford RCMP fired shots on Saturday night. (David Hutton/CBC NEWS)

An Indigenous man is dead after he was shot by RCMP in North Battleford, Sask.

Brydon Whitstone, 22, of the Onion Lake Cree Nation, died after being shot by RCMP on Saturday.

Police said the incident unfolded just before 9 p.m.

According to CBC News, RCMP reported receiving a call from a man, saying he had been chased and shot at from a vehicle.

“Members located the suspect vehicle and initiated a brief pursuit,” RCMP Chief Supt. Maureen Levy, criminal operations officer for Saskatchewan, told media in Regina on Sunday.

The chase ended shortly after Whitmore allegedly rammed a police cruiser.

In response to the driver’s actions following the pursuit, a RCMP member discharged their firearm.

Whitstone, died as a result of his injuries en route to hospital.

The Regina Police Service will conduct an independent investigation.

Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), spoke on the Brent Loucks Show on 650 CKOM Monday morning in response to the shooting.

He said he’d been getting calls and messages throughout the weekend, with many questioning the details around the RCMP shooting.

Cameron said the situation furthers the mistrust First Nations people have about the justice system, and noted that there is also a lack of trust in the independent investigation.

He said he was concerned police may have been too quick to use lethal force.

By: RPM Staff

ASIRT Investigates Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting of Indigenous Man in Gleichen

Cavin Poucette. (Facebook)

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is looking into a fatal shooting of an Indigenous man in which RCMP were involved in the community of Gleichen.

At about 4 a.m. Thursday, two officers pulled over a driver and his girlfriend in the community near Haskayne Avenue and Gleichan Street.

RCMP said while conducting the traffic stop, officers observed a firearm in the vehicle.

While trying to arrest 26-year-old Cavin Poucette, a confrontation took place that led to an officer firing his weapon.

Bullet holes can be seen in the windshield of a vehicle that is at the centre of a police investigation in Gleichen.

Poucette was pronounced dead at the scene.

No further details on what this confrontation entailed was provided by RCMP.

According to CTV News, family members identified Poucette as the victim of Thursday morning’s fatal shooting.

Poucette was a “proud Cree” originally from Morley on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, friends told Postmedia.

Poucette’s social media accounts have been flooded with tributes and messages of condolence.

Gleichen is 90 kilometres southeast of Calgary.

Poucette’s death occurred just hours before RCMP near Bashaw AB., approached a man inside a stolen car parked in a rural area. The suspect entered into a confrontation with officers, resulting in them firing their weapons.

He was airlifted to hospital in critical condition and later died.

No other details were released about the victim.

That shooting is also under ASIRT investigation.

Tensions rise between RCMP and First Nations against fish farms

For Immediate Release, October 17, 2017

RCMP, Marine Harvest, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans has just arrived on site to where Members from six First Nations of the Kwakwaka’wakw have been occupying fish farms, in their territorial waters for nearly two months near Alert Bay, B.C.

Yesterday, the peaceful occupiers, were been served with notices of injunction applications to be heard in court on Wednesday. Sources have reported significantly increased RCMP, Marine Harvest employees and Fisheries and Oceans employees in nearby Port McNeill headed to Port Elizabeth with boats and water equipment.

RCMP have been escorting the Norwegian vessel, Viktoria Viking, contracted by Marine Harvest to refill salmon pens with juvenile stocks, against local First Nation consent. The company is restocking, despite that most of the farm tenures and/or licenses expire before the fish mature.

The escalation in tactical teams, equipment and police numbers deeply concern First Nation members who have been asserting their rights to consent and consultation. Communities oppose the open net salmon farms’ effects on wild salmon including spread of disease, sea lice and other environmental concerns.

The police have no jurisdiction to remove the occupiers, and are supporting the illegal restocking of destructive open net salmon pens in their territory, instead of defending rights and title, and right to wild salmon assert community members.

The police escalation follows a gathering of Namgis, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Mamalilikulla hereditary leadership and community members this weekend. David Suzuki, UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Elected Chief Bob Chamberlain, and Elected Chief Rebecca David representative from the BC AFN, were present to show support for those occupying the farms, messages indicated over 90 First Nations are in support of the collective nations’ demands for removal and ongoing occupations.

Last week, Premier John Horgan met with approximately forty Kwakwaka’wakw leaders – elected and hereditary alike,and supporting community members – First Nations and non First Nations, alike. of the community who demanded the fish farms be removed.

Media Contact:

Ernest Alfred
Email: alertbayalfred@gmail.com
Cell: 250 974 7064
Carla Voyageur
Email: gwayee_jane@yahoo.ca
Cell: 204 292 1098

[SOURCE]