Report confirms RCMP racially discriminated against family of Colten Boushie
SASKATOON -- A report has found the RCMP discriminated against Colten Boushie's family "because they are Indigenous," and that the "RCMP fueled racial tensions in the wake of Colten's death."
The report was completed by The Civilian Review Complaints Commission (CRCC), an independent agency that examines the conduct of the RCMP.
Boushie's family is pleased that the CRCC found "that there was no evidence that (Colten Boushie) participated in any property offences" the day he died, according to a Saturday press release from Sunchild Law, legal representation for Boushie’s family.
The report details how the RCMP questioned Boushie's mother, Debbie Baptiste, about her sobriety, smelled her breath and looked inside her microwave to verify her statement that she had put her son's dinner there.
"The foundations of the relationship between the RCMP and Indigneous peoples teeters on a knife's edge while the public watches," Baptiste's lawyer, Chris Murphy, said in the release.
The report has 17 recommendations, including giving some officers more guidance to interviewing witnesses and cultural awareness training be provided to all RCMP employees.
The watchdog says the RCMP commissioner has accepted "almost all of the commission's findings and recommendations."
In response to CRCC's report, Sask. RCMP released a statement on Saturday saying it will commit to implementing the recommendations of the report.
The National Police Federation (NPF) released a statement on Saturday, slamming the RCMP for accepting the recommendations, calling into question the methodology of the watchdog itself.
"These broad-brush findings about our Members – simply because they are police officers – is not constructive to reconciliation and does not even touch on the real issue here: the government's ongoing lack of investments and other supports for marginalized communities including Indigenous peoples," NPF said in a Saturday news release.
It also added the CRCC report "overlooks key facts and evidence" in the RCMP investigation of Boushie's death.
Boushie, 22 at the time of his death, was a Cree Indigenous man of the Red Pheasant First Nation. He was killed August 2016, while sitting in an SUV which had been driven onto the farm of Gerald Stanley near Biggar, Sask.
Gerald Stanely was acquitted in Feb. 2018 for the death of Boushie.
The family will be holding a media conference on Monday at 10:15 a.m. at the Dakota Dunes Resort, Whitecap Dakota Nation.