WATCH: Supporters of Colten Boushie say the cards were stacked against him from the very beginning. Ceilidh Millar reports.
Thousands joined in solidarity across the country Saturday, demanding action for what some are calling a “racist verdict.”
Dozens of people rallied in front of the Victoria courthouse to protest a verdict made by a Saskatchewan jury that found Gerald Stanley, a 56-year-old farmer, not guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a young Indigenous man, 22-year-old Colten Boushie.
“If you see a dark skinned man shoot him, and nothing will happen to you – that’s the message that this trial gives,” said Susan Quipp who attended the “Justice for Colten” rally in Victoria on Saturday.
After weeks of deliberations, the reportedly all-white jury in Battleford, Sask. took 13 hours to decide on the verdict on Friday.
Boushie, a resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation, was shot dead after driving onto Stanley’s farm in an SUV in August 2016.
Stanley says he thought Boushie was on his property to steal a truck.
The defence argued that Stanley didn’t pull the trigger, and that the incident was a freak accident.
The trial has sparked outrage and criticism across the country.
While some are standing behind the jury’s decision, others are calling for the federal government to intervene.
Many supporters of Boushie and his family are frustrated there were no Indigenous members of the jury.
“The argument where people are trying to paint Colten with this brush of him being a partier is a lot like what happens in the U.S. when young black people are murdered,” said protester Kat Taddei. “There’s no justification for why this young man was murdered.”
“None of the harms of colonization have stopped, they are still very much alive and that’s what this court decision has proven to us,” explained protester Nikki Sanchez.