The Friday acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer tried for second degree murder has prompted condolences and criticism from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould.
As CBC News reports, a jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty in the death of Colten Boushie. The decision sparked a firestorm on social media Saturday.
Both Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould had difficulties with the the verdict, with the attorney general tweeting that Canada “can and must do better.”
Trudeau tweeted his condolences to the family Friday while on a NAFTA goodwill trip in in California.
Just spoke with @Puglaas. I can’t imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight. Sending love to them from the US.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 10, 2018
“Just spoke with @Puglaas. I can’t imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight. Sending love to them from the US.”
Stanley says he accidentally shot 22-year-old Boushie when the First Nations man and several friends invaded Stanley’s property in an SUV. The court heard testimony that the group had been drinking.
When the jury proclaimed Stanley’s innocence in a Battleford, Saskatchewan courtroom, some in the courtroom shouted “Murderer!”
The case has polarized Canadians with some claiming first the killing and now the verdict was an example of racism against Indigenous people.
Trudeau’s tweet incited a social media debate over the verdict, with most detractors citing racism:
“It’s shameful the way we treat the indigenous peoples of our country, without justice there is no equality, Canadians need to wake-up and protect the rights of everyone in our society, not just the privileged. #NoJusticeNoEquality”