Debbie Baptiste says she wouldn’t let how her son’s death was dealt with be swept under the rug. A news conference held Monday morning at Whitecap Dakota First Nation was in response to the Civilian Review Complaints Commission’s report, released this past weekend, on how the RCMP investigated Colten Boushie’s death.
Baptiste said the four and a half year wait for the report from the CRCC felt like they were never going to get justice. “Felt like I was forever fighting a battle that could never be won. This is a time that we step up now and we tell you the injustice and racism in the court room, the discrimination needs to stop,” she said during a news conference on Monday. “Things need to change. We need to change for the future generation. I refuse for my grandchildren to be in fear, live in fear of the RCMP.”
The 22-year-old man from Red Pheasant First Nation died in 2016 when he and friends drove onto Gerald Stanley’s farm near Biggar and was shot. Stanley was acquitted in the case.
The FSIN’s Fourth Vice Chief was also speaking on behalf of the Saskatchewan First Nation’s Women’s Commission at the news conference. Heather Bear said no mother, First Nation or otherwise, should ever have to hear the news their child has been killed.
“You know our neighbours to the south…George Floyd…the police have their foot on our necks too,” she stated. “But you know this weekend justice woke up for a little while.”
The CRCC report says RCMP members who notified Baptiste of her son’s death treated her with such insensitivity that her treatment amounted to discrimination. The commission referred to questions about Baptiste’s sobriety, smelling her breath and looking inside her microwave to verify her statement that she had put her now-deceased son’s dinner there.