A publishing company openly rejected Gerald Stanley’s request for a book deal and advised other companies to follow suit.
Stanley's representatives said they simply wanted the record set straight about some of the misinformation circulated to the public during Stanley's trial. The Biggar-area farmer was acquitted last month of second-degree murder in the 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.
Toronto-based publishing company Between the Lines (BTL) sent the statement out yesterday, saying they rejected the request for a meeting with Stanley as an expression of solidarity with the Boushie Family. The company claimed Stanley’s former legal team was now acting as his literary agent.
“First, Mr. Stanley’s side of the story has already been told – and was validated, in willful disregard of the facts and expert testimony, by an all-white jury,” the statement read. “His side of the story is already told through a general whitewashing in public discourses that deny or minimize anti-Indigenous racism and violence, in our textbooks that erase dispossession and genocide, and in the laws and practices that led to Mr. Stanley’s acquittal.”
The company said to publish, promote or market Stanley’s story would contribute to the injustices experienced by the Boushie family. The company also said it didn’t want to contribute to Stanley's financial gains, and scolded both the RCMP and legal system for allowing an “all white” jury to decide the trial.
“Our criminal justice system wrongfully and disproportionately convicts Indigenous peoples and must change,” the statement said. “To publish Mr. Stanley’s side of the story would only serve to perpetuate our unequal justice system.”
The company claimed to prefer to publish stories of the powerless, those calling for social change and helping to uncover uncomfortable truths. The company advised other publishers to also stand in solidarity with the Boushie family and reject meetings as well.
Scott Spencer, Stanley’s lawyer, responded to BTL’s statement, saying Stanley was concerned misinformation was widely circulated throughout the trial.
“Gerry believed that once the facts came out at trial that the misinformation would stop and that any public discussion would be based on facts and evidence. However, that has not been the case,” Spencer said. “Our office did, in fact, make inquiries on Gerry’s behalf to see if there was any interest in publishing all the facts, fairly and objectively. He is not looking for a ‘book deal,’ we are not acting as his ‘literary agents.’ Gerry just wants to see the public record set straight.”
BTL said Stanley has requested meetings with several other publishers, but didn’t name which ones were contacted and other companies have yet to release statements on the matter.
On Twitter @realgreghiggins
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