Canada Shree Paradkar: Injustice done to Colten Boushie should shake Canadians to our core

08:57  12 february  2018
08:57  12 february  2018 Source:   Metro News

‘We’re going to fight back’ — Colten Boushie’s mother delivers emotional message

  ‘We’re going to fight back’ — Colten Boushie’s mother delivers emotional message ‘We’re going to fight back’ — Colten Boushie’s mother delivers emotional messageThe gatherings ranged from vigils to protests, pulled together under the banner “Justice for Colten Boushie.” Two took place in Saskatchewan, the province where Boushie lived and died, while others took place or were scheduled to take place on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Yellowknife, N.W.T., and as far away as Palm Beach, Fla.

Why is it that Friday night’s not guilty verdict in the young man’s death, which is a moment of national shame, does not shake you to your core , asks Shree Paradkar .

If this doesn’t fill our minds with rage and our hearts with despair, then it tells us a lot about who we really are, writes columnist Shree Paradkar . Opinion | Our reaction to injustice for Colten Boushie is a reflection our soul as individuals and Canadians .

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Members of Colten Boushie's family leave the Court of Queen's Bench after a jury delivered a verdict of not guilty in the trial of Gerald Stanley, the farmer accused of killing the 22-year-old Indigenous man, in Battleford, Sask., Friday, February 9, 2018.: Shree Paradkar: Injustice done to Colten Boushie should shake Canadians to our core© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards Shree Paradkar: Injustice done to Colten Boushie should shake Canadians to our core

If you are going about your business without a break in your step this weekend, with nary a thought for Colten Boushie, ask yourself why that is so.

Why is it that Friday night’s not guilty verdict in the young man’s death, which is a moment of national shame, does not shake you to your core? Why has the grief and outrage that led spontaneously to more than a dozen protests across Canada the day after the verdict not enraged you, not fired up your fears for your children’s future, and not driven you to speak up against repeated centuries-old injustice enacted under your nose?

Trudeau promises justice system reform

  Trudeau promises justice system reform OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau says much needs to be done to fix the way First Nations people are treated within Canada's criminal justice system. But the prime minister says it would be "completely inappropriate" to comment on the specifics of last week's acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer in the killing of 22-year-old Colten Boushie. Speaking in the House of Commons, Trudeau says First Nations people are underrepresented on juries and overrepresented in the prison population — a situation he says his government is committed to solving.

If this doesn’t fill our minds with rage and our hearts with despair, then it tells us a lot about who we really are, writes columnist Shree Paradkar . Opinion | Our reaction to injustice for Colten Boushie is a reflection our soul as individuals and Canadians .

If this doesn’t fill our minds with rage and our hearts with despair, then it tells us a lot about who we really are, writes columnist Shree Paradkar . Opinion | Our reaction to injustice for Colten Boushie is a reflection our soul as individuals and Canadians .

Do you see how indifference makes us all complicit?

Battleford, Sask., might as well be America from the 1950s. An all-white jury in a court presided by a white judge found Gerald Stanley, a white farmer charged with second-degree murder, not guilty after a bullet from his gun killed 22-year-old Boushie, an Indigenous man from the Red Pheasant First Nation.

In the selection of the jury for the trial — where lawyers are allowed to use “peremptory challenges” to reject a potential juror without giving any reason — every single Indigenous person who showed up was rejected.

“Indigenous people are tired of being part of a justice system that excludes them. Tired of being tried by white judges and juries and then thrown into jails that in some parts of Canada — Saskatchewan, Manitoba and in northern Ontario — are almost entirely Indigenous,” says my colleague Tanya Talaga, author of the bestselling Seven Fallen Feathers, in which she chronicled the lives and deaths of seven First Nations students who left their homes and families so they could get a high school education.

Trudeau promises justice system reform

  Trudeau promises justice system reform Trudeau promises justice system reformBut the prime minister says it would be "completely inappropriate" to comment on the specifics of last week's acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer in the killing of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.

If this doesn’t fill our minds with rage and our hearts with despair, then it tells us a lot about who we really are, writes columnist Shree Paradkar . Opinion | Our reaction to injustice for Colten Boushie is a reflection our soul as individuals and Canadians .

If this doesn’t fill our minds with rage and our hearts with despair, then it tells us a lot about who we really are, writes columnist Shree Paradkar . Opinion | Our reaction to injustice for Colten Boushie is a reflection our soul as individuals and Canadians .

The issue of makeup of juries is not new.

Barbara Manitowabie lays flowers on a memorial for Colten Boushie as protesters gather in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto to protest the verdict in his murder trial on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.: Shree Paradkar: Injustice done to Colten Boushie should shake Canadians to our core© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Donovan Shree Paradkar: Injustice done to Colten Boushie should shake Canadians to our core

Former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci reviewed Ontario’s jury roll system for a year following legal challenges from First Nations families and organizations, and released his report in 2013. At a Thunder Bay press conference then, he said there was widespread systemic racism in the courts, justice and police systems in the north.

“He warned that if nothing was done, any true hope of reconciliation between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people would disappear,” says Talaga.

“He is correct. There can be no reconciliation without rights.”

This demand for Indigenous civil and political rights is met with the same askance and skepticism from non-Indigenous Canadians as U.S. civil rights activists received from other Americans in the 1950s and ’60s.

Prime Minister says he feels the pain of Boushie's family after not guilty verdict in Stanley trial

  Prime Minister says he feels the pain of Boushie's family after not guilty verdict in Stanley trial Prime Minister says he feels the pain of Boushie's family after not guilty verdict in Stanley trialThe not guilty verdict in Gerald Stanley’s trial brought a range of reactions from across the country during the weekend.

If this doesn’t fill our minds with rage and our hearts with despair, then it tells us a lot about who we really are, writes columnist Shree Paradkar . Opinion | Our reaction to injustice for Colten Boushie is a reflection our soul as individuals and Canadians .

If this doesn’t fill our minds with rage and our hearts with despair, then it tells us a lot about who we really are, writes columnist Shree Paradkar . Opinion | Our reaction to injustice for Colten Boushie is a reflection our soul as individuals and Canadians .

During the Stanley trial, his shooting of Boushie was justified by the barest of all plausible reasons: an accident. The trigger for the semi-automatic gun had to be pulled for a shot to be fired. Two bullets had already been fired as warning shots, the defence said.

The defence lawyer blamed the shooting of the third bullet that went through Boushie’s head, on something called “hang fire.” That is a delay from when the shot is fired to when the bullet leaves the gun. Plausible, perhaps, except experts had testified that delay is not only rare, it’s also very short — less than one second.

Boushie and his friends were returning home on Aug. 9, 2016, after a day of swimming and some drinking, when their car had a flat tire. They had tried to steal a truck on a farm, but failed. They then drove to Stanley’s property, where they tried to start an ATV.

This led to yelling and shouting and a hammer to the windshield of the car Boushie was in, and finally his death. He was still in the car. Many people have pounced on this element of imperfection in the victims to rationalize the shooting.

Wilson-Raybould defends Boushie tweet

  Wilson-Raybould defends Boushie tweet OTTAWA - Jody Wilson-Raybould doubled down Tuesday on her controversial reaction to the Colten Boushie verdict, saying a federal justice minister should be responsive to Canadians who speak out and protest perceived injustices in the legal system. Boushie's violent 2016 death and the acquittal of the man who killed him continued to reverberate on Parliament Hill as grieving family members met separately with Wilson-Raybould and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, bent on rooting out what they say is systemic racism in Canada's courts.

00:00 Shree Paradkar : Our reaction to injustice for Colten Boushie is a reflection of our soul as individuals and Canadians . With members of Colten Boushie ’s family standing behind him Chief Bobby Cameron reported he had heard from Ottawa.

If this doesn’t fill our minds with rage and our hearts with despair, then it tells us a lot about who we really are, writes columnist Shree Paradkar . Opinion | Our reaction to injustice for Colten Boushie is a reflection our soul as individuals and Canadians .

Protesters gather in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto to protest the verdict in his murder trial of Colten Boushie who was shot on a farm in Saskatchewan on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.: Shree Paradkar: Injustice done to Colten Boushie should shake Canadians to our core© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Donovan Shree Paradkar: Injustice done to Colten Boushie should shake Canadians to our core

If death is an acceptable outcome for trespassing and attempting to steal, then it should follow that Indigenous people be allowed a free hand with settlers who have grabbed their land and stolen its resources by hook and crook.

Why then are they now being asked for restraint after the verdict? For calm? Forgive us, for we know not what we do — even when we kill you. What blinding nature of self-absorption is this?

But it has been thus for so long we see no aberration in it: White man kills Indigenous person and lawfully walks free.

Due process once again needs no tweaking when the outcome favours the privileged.

Earlier, before the trial, the RCMP had lost the vehicle in which Boushie was killed. Then, “the Mounties waited a strangely long time to charge Stanley in the aftermath of the shooting,” wrote Kyle Edwards in Maclean’s. “No matter how you dissect the case, Stanley was given virtually every advantage from the outset.”

Alvin Baptiste, Colten Boushie's uncle, stands with Colten's mother Debbie Baptiste and brother Jace Boushie as demonstrators gather outside of the courthouse in North Battleford, Sask., on Saturday, February 10, 2018.: Shree Paradkar: Injustice done to Colten Boushie should shake Canadians to our core© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith Shree Paradkar: Injustice done to Colten Boushie should shake Canadians to our core

The jury had been instructed to find Stanley guilty of murder if they believed he intended to kill. If the jurors determined Stanley was merely careless in discharging the firearm, they could have found him guilty of manslaughter.

As it turned out they found him not guilty of anything.

This means they believed Stanley acted reasonably when he killed Boushie.

If this doesn’t fill our minds with rage and our hearts with despair, then it tells us a lot about who we really are.

What a shame.

Shree Paradkar writes about discrimination and identity. You can follow her @shreeparadkar

Tories blast PM for comments on Boushie case .
OTTAWA - The federal Conservatives are accusing Justin Trudeau of "political interference," after the prime minister responded to the acquittal of a white farmer in the death of a young Indigenous man by saying the criminal justice system has to "do better." Trudeau made the comments after a jury in Battleford, Sask., Friday found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2016 death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, a resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation.

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