Family of Fatally Shot Cree Man to Meet With Trudeau Cabinet Members


“I can’t imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight,” Mr. Trudeau wrote on Twitter on Friday while winding up an official visit to California. “Sending love to them from the U.S.”

Family members are scheduled to meet on Monday with the two ministers responsible for Indigenous affairs. Chris Murphy, a lawyer who represents the family, said they would also meet on Tuesday with the public safety minister and justice minister. Mr. Trudeau’s office could not confirm whether he would meet with the family.

Jade Tootoosis, Mr. Boushie’s cousin, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday night, “We’re hoping that we have these meetings and our concerns are heard and not just listened to, but taken into action.”

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Colton Boushie’s cousin Jade Tootoosis greeting supporters outside court during Mr. Stanley’s trial last week.

Credit
Amber Bracken for The New York Times

“We want to start talking about what do we do to address this, so that no other families go through what we went through,” she added, after arriving in Ottawa that night along with Debbie Baptiste, Mr. Boushie’s mother, and Alvin Baptiste, his uncle.

Rallies condemning the verdict and calling for legal reforms were held in several Canadian cities over the weekend.

“It is outrageous that Colten Boushie was shot dead and no one will be held accountable,” Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation in northern Ontario said in a statement. “This tragedy has exposed systemic racism in the justice system from the day Colten was shot.”

Almost from the time of the August 2016 shooting, Mr. Boushie’s family has complained that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police appeared more concerned about what Mr. Boushie and four other young Cree people were doing on Mr. Stanley’s farm than investigating his death.

The police searched Ms. Baptiste’s mobile home and its surrounding property on the Red Pheasant First Nation for one of the men who had traveled to the Stanley. But forensic experts were not brought to the Stanley farm, and evidence was washed away when the vehicle in which Mr. Boushie died was left exposed to rain for two days.

Mr. Murphy, the lawyer, said the family had filed a formal complaint to an independent body that reviews the actions of the Mounties.

Mr. Stanley testified that he and his son had confronted the group because some of them appeared to be trying to steal an all-terrain vehicle. Evidence at the trial indicated that the group, whose small truck had a flat tire, tried to steal a car at another farm.

A toxicology report supported evidence that Mr. Boushie had an unusually high level of alcohol in his system at the time and was most likely unconscious during most of the two episodes.

No theft charges were ever made.

The family was particularly dismayed by the jury selection process. Under Canada’s system, defense lawyers can reject up to 14 potential jurors without giving any reason. Mr. Murphy and Ms. Tootoosis, who were present for the jury selection, said five people who appeared to be Indigenous were rejected.

The backgrounds of the seven women and five men selected are not known, and their deliberations will remain secret under Canadian law.

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