Saskatchewan’s premier says he has yet to read the full report by a complaints commission that found RCMP discriminated against the mother of Colten Boushie — an Indigenous man who was shot and killed on a farm.
Scott Moe said he intends to take a look at the document and, based on news coverage, believes it enlightens an ongoing conversation in the province around civilian oversight of police.
The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP made 17 recommendations to address missteps by officers when they investigated Boushie’s death in August 2016.
The 22-year-old Cree man from Red Pheasant First Nation was shot and killed after an SUV he was riding in went onto a farm near Biggar, Sask.
The long-awaited review, made public on Saturday, says officers who informed Debbie Baptiste about her son’s death questioned whether she had been drinking and told her to “get it together” when she broke down into tears.
A lawyer for the family has also said racist and hateful comments were posted online after the report was made public, much like there was following Boushie’s death.
An RCMP spokeswoman said it recently received two complaints about racist online comments and is investigating.
RCMP earlier investigated 85 online accounts for comments made around the time of Boushie’s death and the trial of Gerald Stanley, the farmer acquitted of second-degree murder in the shooting.
Public prosecutions in Saskatchewan didn’t recommend laying hate speech charges at that time, officials said, because there wasn’t a reasonable likelihood of conviction and they weighed remorse as well as social media backlash against those who made the posts.
Meanwhile, federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told the House of Commons in Ottawa that the Liberal government plans to improve civilian oversight for police, training for officers and help develop a legislative framework for First Nations policing as an essential service.