The way RCMP treated Colten Boushie’s family was 'unacceptable': Trudeau
SASKATOON -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the way RCMP treated Colten Boushie’s family during an investigation was unacceptable.
A report, written by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, found the RCMP discriminated against Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste.
Boushie, 22, was shot and killed in an SUV that crossed onto Gerald Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Sask in August 2016. A jury acquitted Stanley of second-degree murder.
When the RCMP told Baptiste her son was dead, officers smelled Baptiste’s breath and asked her if she was drinking, the report found.
The commission noted officers were insensitive, telling Baptiste to “get it together.” Officers also checked Baptiste’s microwave to confirm her son’s dinner was inside, and she wasn’t lying.
“The way they were treated was unacceptable,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Monday, following the release of the report on the weekend.
“We have seen, unfortunately, examples of systemic racism within the RCMP and within many of our institutions.”
The report makes 17 recommendations to the RCMP, including: providing officers with more guidance to interviewing witnesses and stronger cultural awareness training.
“We need to do better. I will be tasking Minister Blair and through him, commissioner Lucki, to make sure things move forward in a better way and there’s proper thought given to best respond to Colten Boushie’s family,” Trudeau said.
Brenda Lucki is the RCMP Commissioner and Bill Blair is the Federal Public Safety Minister.
The RCMP said it’s committed to implementing the recommendations, and by April 1, 2021 all Saskatchewan RCMP employees are on-track to complete cultural awareness training.