Ottawa, ON — Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, regarding the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) report on the RCMP investigation of the death of Colten Boushie:
“Following multiple delays, the CRCC have finally released their report into the RCMP’s investigation of the tragic shooting death of Colten Boushie by Gerald Stanley on the Stanley’s property in August 2016.
Importantly, “The Commission found that the investigation conducted by the RCMP was generally professional and reasonable. This included findings that the RCMP’s initial response to the incident was reasonable and timely; that appropriate action was taken to ensure that all available resources were deployed; that the arrests made were lawful and reasonable; that the interview with Mr. Stanley was conducted in a reasonable manner; and that the investigative team was adequately staffed.”
This speaks to the dedication and professionalism of our Members’ day in and day out in service to residents of Saskatchewan and Canada.
Unfortunately, the concerns we expressed in our January 21 statement have also proven to be valid. On several key findings, the CRCC report dismisses or outright ignores central facts and evidence. As a result, in many instances, it advances a perspective that disrespects our Members and brings their impartiality, dedication and professionalism into question. We have highlighted a few of these as examples in the backgrounder linked below.
We also question the CRCC’s expertise and methodology used to develop such a definitive finding on the subject of discrimination. This is typically reserved for a Human Rights Tribunal which falls outside of the CRCC’s scope.
In the CRCC’s own words, their finding of discrimination was based on a “social, legal and historical context” including “colonial assertions, stereotypes and a troubled history of police and Indigenous peoples’ relations”. These broad-brush findings about our Members — simply because they are police officers — is not constructive to reconciliation and does not even touch on the real issue here: the government’s ongoing lack of investments and other supports for marginalized communities including Indigenous peoples. Our Members are repeatedly called upon when these underfunded government systems fail and — too often — our Members become either the physical or social target on these significant and deep-seated societal issues.
Our Members put their lives on the line in difficult and dangerous situations every day to keep Canadians safe, and they deserve to have their voice heard by both the CRCC and RCMP management. The RCMP’s acceptance of the CRCC’s inaccuracies in this report is demeaning to Members in Saskatchewan and beyond – and this injustice needs to be called out.
We continue to support independent, thorough, transparent, and impartial investigations that consider input and perspectives from all parties, which result in meaningful recommendations. We also strongly agree on the need for improvement and investment in areas like RCMP staffing and resourcing to create a more stable and effective working environment for our Members and communities across Canada.”
Backgrounder on Examples of Inaccuracies and Bias in the CRCC Report
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
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National Police Federation
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations