AFN calls for immediate action over racist comments by RCMP officer - APTN NewsAPTN News

AFN calls for immediate action over racist comments by RCMP officer



Trina Roache
APTN Investigates
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde wants to see immediate action over racist comments posted on Facebook by an RCMP officer.

“There is no room for this kind of intolerance in Canada, especially among those who have chosen to serve the public in law enforcement,” said Bellegarde, in a statement emailed to APTN.

In a private Facebook group, an RCMP member commented on a story shared about the acquittal of Gerald Stanley, writing that Colten Boushie “got what he deserved.”

Related: RCMP Facebook group claims Colten Boushie ‘got what he deserved’

The 22-year old Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan was shot and killed when he and four others drove onto Stanley’s farm in August of 2016.

Stanley was charged with second-degree murder, but argued the shooting was an accident. He was acquitted last Friday.

“The recent verdict in the shooting death of Colten Boushie has laid bare the issue of racial discrimination in Canada’s justice system,” said Bellegarde.

“It’s evident in the over-representation of First Nations people in the criminal justice system, in the way First Nations people do not feel protected when First Nations people are victims of violence, and it is shockingly evident in online comments like this one.”

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he has talked to the RCMP about what he calls an “absolutely appalling” remark.

“The facts are being determined and examined,” Goodale said. “If they turn out to be what they appear to be, this is unacceptable and there will be consequences.”

APTN has confirmed the person who posted the comment is an RCMP officer in Alberta, but is not releasing her name at this time.

RCMP Headquarters says it has now launched an investigation into the social media posts. Under the Privacy Act, it can’t share personal information.

In an emailed response to APTN, an RCMP spokesperson said, “As a result, we cannot confirm or discuss whether Code of Conduct investigations are underway in relation to any individual.”

The comments were made in a private Facebook group called “News stories that Matter to or May Impact RCMP.” The group has 1,200 members.

After a tip from a source that some of posts were “shocking,” an APTN reporter asked to join the group and was added as a member.

Some of the comments on posts about Stanley’s not-guilty verdict in Boushie’s murder, were alarming and racist. Ranging from, “one less thug is no loss,” to how it was “sad that Boushie died, but he made his fate.”

Not every inflammatory comment is by a police officer, though some are clearly articulating that is their line of work.

The group consists of current and former RCMP members, public servants, politicians, and now media.

Before deleting their Facebook account, the RCMP officer in question had this photo as their cover photo on Facebook.

The RCMP officer at the centre of investigation now, deleted her comments shortly after APTN was granted access to the group. And has since deleted her personal Facebook page. But not before changing the cover photo with a picture of a gun and the text ‘This home protected by the good lord and a gun. If you came here to steal or do harm you might meet them both.’

APTN did reach out to the officer, but so far no response.

troache@aptn.ca

-with files from The Canadian Press.

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11 Responses to “AFN calls for immediate action over racist comments by RCMP officer”

  1. kbrindsor@gmail.com'
    Kelli Windsor-Brown February 16, 2018 at 1:15 am #

    Just a correction – media personnel have always been permitted and have been on the site for a long time.

    • kalolinfrancis@gmail.com'
      G February 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm #

      DUE PROCESS??

      I watched many people in this site chastise whoever gave this screen shot to the Media. The posts focused more on why this was given to the media and not dealt with by the RCMP so that the person who wrote these despicable comments could be afforded DUE PROCESS. Cleary this person does not have any faith the RCMP’s due process and how they handle complaints. If this due process was so successful then why is there an impending multi million class action law suit on behalf of the women in the RCMP. How did due process work for them?? This issue of racism within the RCMP goes far deeper than the ignorant comments of one woman. This force desperately needs reform and more education. Thankfully this has become a National issue and not simply brushed off a one woman’s comments.

  2. BillStevens1616@gmail.com'
    Bill Stevens February 16, 2018 at 2:30 am #

    Commenting that someone deserved a bullet in the head for sitting in a car when someone else is alleged to have got out and tried to steal something is disturbing. Such a statement brings shame and mistrust upon the RCMP and this is a time when there is far too much fear and hate in the country. Reconciliation will be difficult or impossible to achieve as long as the people we need to trust issue such statements.

  3. atnpl7@gmail.com'
    Anthony February 16, 2018 at 9:56 am #

    Too much hate in this world. World War III is most likely inevitable; it is just a matter of time. Why? Because history tends to repeat itself and there is nothing to suggest the cycle will end. Collectively, we humans are a disease on this planet.

  4. rlancereid@gmail.com'
    R Lance Reid February 16, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

    appalling.
    I hope we can harvest the exposure of this and like darkness.

  5. Concerned@hotmail.com'
    Concerned February 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

    Maybe it should start in the academy. As part as the new recruits training. Recruits should be taught a brief history on First Nation peoples and why there are reservations in this country.

  6. jimmy9133@outlook.com'
    mike February 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm #

    I understand and support the officer. She should be allowed to state her opinion especially with her professional experience of repeat offenders and victims.

    • Donna.moon@hotmail.com'
      Donna February 16, 2018 at 4:31 pm #

      If that is the starting point for this officer God help the Indigenous people who come into contact with her…they do not have a chance…because from her statement she sees us as less than and not deserving of due process. Makes me fear for myself and all of my family. I taught my children to always respect the police.. Do what they say because I want you to come home…not end up dead because you are indigenous.. this is how that concern grows..comments like this RCMP officer.

    • sis.eco2@gmail.com'
      Ellen O'Neill February 17, 2018 at 4:35 am #

      There is a great difference and distance between private opinion and professional experience, and if an officer of the law cannot keep the two separate, she should change her profession.

  7. kalolinfrancis@gmail.com'
    G February 17, 2018 at 5:05 am #

    As a group member of the site in question I was able to view many of the unprofessional, racist comments related to Colten Bushie including the RCMP member who stated ” he got what he deserved”. Many of the members accused the poster of bypassing the RCMP complaint process and going straight to the media, as if this was the bigger issue. What they fail to realize is many people have no faith in the RCMP’s “due process”. If this process was remotely successful, then why is there an impending multi million dollar lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of RCMP women related to sexual misconduct and harassment in the work place. I quickly removed myself from the site as many people resorted to bullying and warning individuals “Please do not identify yourself” insinuating they had something to fear. This issue of racism within the RCMP goes far deeper than the rants of one racist woman, she was the tip of the Iceberg which was evident by the comments made in the site. I can only hope that the exposure will shed light on the bigger issue. This is attitude is prevalent in many first nation communities. The RCMP needs reform on a National level. A process for dealing with such people, more education and a method which identifies and prevents these individuals from being hired in the first place. We should expect a higher standard from our National force, one that fosters peaceful relationships with its citizens.

  8. gayle_herbs@hotmail.com'
    Gail February 17, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Well i am glad she got caught and i pray she loses her badge for being stupid.