RCMP says there was no mistreatment of shooting victim’s mother
- EFN Staff | November 03, 2017
Saskatchewan RCMP has issued a statement in response to a complaint investigation, which looked into the allegations of how their members treated the family of Colten Boushie following his death. The statement showed the RCMP is cleared of mistreatment allegations against the victim’s mother Debbie Baptiste and family.
“We are extremely upset and disgusted by the dismissal of the RCMP’s misconduct,” said Baptiste and Boushie’s sister, Jade Tootoosis, in a statement released by Federation of Indigenous Sovereign Nations (FSIN). “There is no reassurance of fairness when they investigate their own. My family members re-live the trauma of that day over and over again, and now we are being told that is completely acceptable.”
Boushie, 22, from the Red Pheasant First Nation, was fatally shot on a farm near Biggar, Saskatchewan last August 2016. The RCMP delivered the news to Boushie’s family after his death. According to various news reports, the family said the RCMP allegedly questioned if Baptiste was drinking upon entering to conduct a search in the home.
“On October 19th, Saskatchewan RCMP sent a letter to the Baptiste family advising them of the results of our public complaint investigation into their allegations regarding our members’ conduct,” according to the RCMP statement in an email. “While we cannot speak to specifics, we can talk generally about the process.”
Complaints are separate from a court process. The RCMP oversees public complaints that involve members in the law enforcement to ensure accountability. The RCMP’s Professional Responsibility Unit oversees complaints and determines whether “it should be investigated as a public complaint; a code of conduct violation or even as a criminal or statutory offence.”
“If the family wishes to pursue this matter further, they have the option of turning to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP,” as mentioned in the statement.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is disappointed that the RCMP officers are being cleared after they were accused of mistreating the Boushie family.
“We need First Nations representation when it comes to investigations of this nature,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron in a media release. “You have officers investigating other officers, showing that the justice system doesn’t serve First Nations with the same standard of care that it should.”
According to FSIN, the family of Colten Boushie has launched a petition for a new Crown prosecutor and an out-of-province lead investigator for the case.
“The lack of sensitivity shown by officers after Colten Boushie's death should warrant an apology at the very least,” he said.
“We know they made mistakes based off their lack of education and judgment,” said Bapiste and Tootoosis. “How are we to trust the RCMP when they treat us like criminals when we are the victims?”
Farmer Gerald Stanley will be facing a three-week trial starting January 29 in North Battleford for second-degree murder in the death of Boushie.