Gerald Stanley, a Biggar area farmer charged with 2nd Degree murder in the shooting death of 22 year old Colten Boushie in the summer of 2016, has been found not guilty by a jury of 7 women and 5 men.
The burden of proof in the judicial system is on the prosecution to prove guilt. The decision was announced at 7:30 Friday night in Battlefords Court of Queen's Bench. According to social media reports, Stanley was rushed out of the court by security. Some of the people in the gallery reacted with sobs and screams and raw emotion. There were tears from the Boushie family, from their supporters and from lawyer Chris Murphy who has been advising the Boushie family . He says there is a darkness that exists in this country and we have to feel our way out of it. Murphy added that they will be going to Parliament Hill to talk about this case . Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Vice-Chief Kim Jonathan says the FSIN would support an inquiry.
What court heard during the trial was that Boushie was in an SUV that drove onto Stanley's property in the Biggar area. Stanley's lawyer says Boushie's death was the result of a freak accident.
Stanley had fired some warning shots and thought he had cleared the gun.
Court heard that Stanley tried to reach for the keys in the ignition when the gun went off.
The prosecution argued that it wasn't an accident that the gun fired, saying the trigger needs to be pulled each time with a firm pull.
Lawyer Bill Burge suggested if the gun was fired intentionally, it's murder and if wasn't intentional, it was manslaughter because of careless use of the gun.
Boushie's family say they plan to pursue an appeal.
The Indigenous Joint Action Coalition has called for a day of action today (Saturday) to show solidarity and support for the family of Colten Boushie.
That's after a jury in Battleford, Saskatchewan found 56-year-old farmer Gerald Stanley not guilty of second degree murder in the death of the 22-year-old.
Rallies are planned today in Saskatoon, Regina, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.
Statement issued by Mayor Charlie Clark and Saskatoon Tribal Chief Mark Arcand:
Our entire province and country have been gripped by the events surrounding the shooting and subsequent death of Colten Boushie and the trial of Gerald Stanley. A young man’s life has been lost. Families from Red Pheasant First Nation, Biggar, Saskatoon and beyond are impacted. As we await the verdict and wonder what impact this could have on our province, and more importantly, our relations with each other, we must continue to work with each other in a good way, in a respectful way. As the Chief of the Saskatoon Tribal Council and Mayor of Saskatoon, our hearts go out to the families and people affected by this tragedy. Our role is to build healthy, positive, respectful relationships that are rooted in understanding. This case has cracked open the racial undercurrent in Saskatchewan with the potential to further drive a wedge of mistrust between communities. We cannot build our future with hateful dialogue and divisiveness. Reconciliation must grow from the community level to being truly valued and embodied by us as individuals. So much work has already been done—by many people—as our communities find their paths to reconciliation. As community leaders we commit to continue stepping outside racial bounds and work together to reconcile trust within our community—through meaningful dialogue and partnership. - Tribal Chief Mark Arcand and Mayor Charlie Clark