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.”
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.