Dozens of Edmontonians joined protests across Canada on Saturday after a Saskatchewan farmer was found not guilty on Friday in the death of an Indigenous man.
Around 100 people attended the rally outside Edmonton police headquarters to voice their displeasure, after a Saskatchewan jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.
During the rally, Dale Janvier expressed his unhappiness over the verdict, but he also called for peace.
“If we need a martyr, this would be a martyr right here. Hopefully it’s a martyr of peace, not revenge, and Colten’s death could be for something,” Janvier said.
“I think this could be a turning stone in Canadian history…some young 22-year-old kid shot in the back of the head. It’s pretty black and white to me.”
Boushie, of the Red Pheasant First Nation, was shot dead in August 2016 while sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV that was driven onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Sask.
The defence argued that Stanley, 56, didn’t pull the trigger, and that the shooting was a freak accident.
Family and friends expressed disappointment with the verdict, saying they will be asking for an inquiry into the situation.
The Crown prosecutor Bill Burge said it was a “tough time” for everyone including the jury, and that he presented all the evidence that he could at the trial.
“We presented everything there was to present,” he said.
He also said “things will be considered,” when asked about a possible appeal.
Janvier hopes the Crown will pursue an appeal, but he said seeking revenge is not a solution.
“You can’t be revengeful. More violence ends up with more violence, and it’s more violence on both sides,” Janvier said.
“We just want peace and we want justice.”