Following a second day of emotional testimony at the Gerald Stanley preliminary hearing, the focus shifted to the heavy security at the provincial courthouse in North Battleford.
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations youth representative Andre Bear, who attended the hearing Tuesday, said he is “dismayed” by the extra security.
He said he believes police are only there to protect Stanley and his family.
“That’s why the the RCMP left after Gerald left. They don’t care. Their main focus is him, it’s not the victims or the families. It’s unfortunate,” he said.
The preliminary hearing will determine whether Stanley, 55, will stand trial for second-degree murder in the shooting death of Colten Boushie last summer.
Boushie, 22, was shot and killed Aug. 9 while riding in an SUV that went onto a farm near Biggar, Sask.
Bear said he is upset about the treatment of First Nations people during the case, pointing to security pat downs at the courthouse that he claims only the Boushie family have been subjected to.
“We feel like animals coming in and out of here every single time having to be patted down. We don’t see that with the other families,” he said.
Bear said it sends the wrong message about who the justice system is trying to protect and adds to racial tension in the province.
The preliminary hearing adjourned until Thursday, when its expected to wrap up. At the same time, a rally is being organized ahead of the final day.
Bear said the rally is about taking a stand against prejudice within the legal system.
-With files from 650 CKOM’s Chris Vandenbreekel