When the jury selection for the Gerald Stanley trial concluded Monday, a spokesperson for the Colten Boushie family was visibly upset when she left the makeshift courtroom at the Alex Dillabough Centre during a break from proceedings.
Jade Tootoosis, Colten Boushie's cousin, stated she was concerned there were no visible Indigenous people who were selected for the jury.
Stanley is facing a charge of second degree murder related to the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie of Red Pheasant First Nation on Stanley's Biggar area farm yard in Aug. 2016.
"A lot of my family didn't come today because they already felt a decision had been made. I came with hopes that it would be different," Tootoosis said to reporters in a scrum during a break from the proceedings. "It was really difficult to sit there today and watch every single visible Indigenous person be challenged by the defence. It's not surprising, but extremely frustrating. It's something that we feared has come true.
"I'm unsure how to feel how the proceedings are going to go from here on out," Tootoosis added. "But we'll continue to be at the courthouse every single day."
In the selection process, people who were qualified to be considered for the jury were called. But in the final stage of the jury selection, the defence and the Crown had an opportunity to indicate if they wished to challenge an individual being considered for the jury. When a potential juror was called, that person was asked by the court to look at Stanley, and for the accused to look at that person.
If either the Crown or defence wished to remove an individual being considered, they would indicate so by simply saying "challenge," and the individual wouldn't be permitted to sit as a juror. Both the defence and Crown each had 12 challenges.
The defence team for Gerald Stanley declined to comment, beyond saying the defence team is focusing on the facts.
The Stanley trial starts on Tuesday at Queen's Bench courthouse in Battleford at 10 a.m.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been closed to commenting because the matter is still before the court.
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