A private Facebook group used by police officers across Canada shows shocking messages in support of Gerald Stanley’s acquittal.
The most offensive comments, which are sure to further inflame the racism debate accompanying the outcome of last week’s trial, were posted by an officer APTN News has been told is a serving member of the RCMP on the Prairies.
“This should never have been allowed to be about race…crimes were committed and a jury found the man not guilty in protecting his home and family,” the post said of the second-degree murder trial into the death of Colten Boushie in Saskatchewan.
“Too bad the kid died but he got what he deserved.”
Two sources shared screenshots of the post with APTN and disclosed the officer’s identity.
APTN is not naming the officer or detachment at this time. However, the officer claims to police a First Nations’ community.
“How many of us work on or near reserves and are getting fed up with the race card being used every time someone gets caught breaking the law?” continued the post.
“The CC (Criminal Code) is there to protect the criminals and there’s a growing wave of hard working people who are sick of being victims of crime without real justice.”
Boushie, 22, was with three others from the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan when he was shot in the head inside a vehicle after driving onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar.
Stanley, a white farmer, claimed the shooting was an accident and an all-white jury refused to convict.
The verdict shocked Boushie’s family, his community and thousands of Canadians who’ve taken to the streets to call for changes to make the justice system more inclusive.
“I was shocked to see this stuff,” said a source. “This means there is another divide we have to work through. A divide in the RCMP.”
The offending posts have since been deleted from the site called “News Stories that Matter to or May Impact RCMP” which has 1,200 members.
Members must answer questions posed by an administrator about their policing careers before being admitted.
“This raises questions about people in the RCMP displaying bias and disdain when they’re supposed to uphold the law and respect our rights,” a source said.
“My God, this is on a public site – as if anything on Facebook is private. I’m blown away by their ignorance.”
A screen shot shared with APTN shows someone challenging the poster, albeit with some sarcasm.
“I’m so sorry to hear of the hardships you have endured while working on or near a reserve. I’m also very sad to hear that an active member of the RCMP would make such a bold statement to say ‘he got what he deserved.’
“If, this young man was breaking the law, what he ‘deserved’ was a fair investigation and a fair trial if there was sufficient evidence to lay charges. Isn’t that our job as police officers?”
APTN sent a message seeking comment to RCMP headquarters in Ottawa Wednesday night. A response was not received prior to publication.