August 15, 2016 9:16 pm
Updated: August 16, 2016 11:00 am

‘Racism has no place in Saskatchewan’: Premier Brad Wall puts his foot down

WATCH ABOVE: The recent shooting death of a young indigenous man on a farm near Biggar, Sask., has resulted in racially charged social media posts that had even the premier stepping in to say stop. Meaghan Craig reports.

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There is no single case in recent memory that is more polarizing than this one.

It involves the fatal shooting of a young indigenous man on a farmyard outside of Biggar, Sask., and a non-indigenous man who is accused of the killing and remains behind bars.

READ MORE: ‘Racist and hate-filled’ comments after fatal shooting must stop: Brad Wall

The shooting happened last Tuesday and in the days to follow, thousands have taken to social media making posts that has law enforcement concerned and even the premier putting his foot down.

The RCMP investigation into the death of Colten Boushie, 22, is still very active after he died from an apparent gunshot wound on a farm in the RM of Glenside.

Gerald Stanley, 54, the accused in the case has been charged with second-degree murder and is set to make a second court appearance at North Battleford provincial court on Thursday.

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Since Aug. 9, RCMP have addressed the media once – over allegations that the release shown above was biased, according to the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN).

“The news release the RCMP issued the following day provided just enough prejudicial information for the average reader to draw their own conclusions that the shooting was somehow justified,” stated the release.

“The messaging in an RCMP news release should not fuel racial tensions.”

READ MORE: FSIN accuse RCMP of fuelling racial tensions after fatal Biggar, Sask., shooting

On Friday, the RCMP also issued a warning that people need to be more mindful when making posts on social media.

“Over the past few days, there have been comments made on social media that are concerning and could be criminal in nature,” said Supt. Rob Cameron, an assistant criminal operations officer with the F Division of the RCMP.

“It’s understandable that during a situation like this that emotions run high but it’s important to let the court process run it’s course.”

READ MORE: Murder charge laid in farm shooting near Biggar, Sask.

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According to criminal defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle, there is provincial legislation in most provinces to address hate speech that can lead to fines or compensation but don’t carry the same criminal consequences outlined in the Criminal Code for hate speech.

“The fact is that hate speech needs to be targeting a specific group, it needs to be attempting to incite violence or hatred or wrongful acts against those individuals and the standard is the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

It’s the reason why this particular crime isn’t prosecuted often said Pfefferle, but that still doesn’t make it right.

“I think that our leaders in this province correctly spoke out against this nonsense.”

On Sunday, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall issued a Facebook post saying the following:


“I don’t think it’s helpful to our reputation as a province, it’s not helpful to an accused person facing these sorts of allegations and it’s not helpful to the deceased persons family or his community,” Pfefferle said.

He went onto say no one knows all the facts associated with this case and those will only come out during the trial – which is unlikely to take place within the year since that tends to be the nature of major crime cases.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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