Local Indigenous leaders hurt, angry after Boushie verdict
The controversial verdict has prompted a swift response from the London community
The anger and sadness that has resonated across the country following the Colton Bouchie verdict is being felt in the London area.
A rally is planned for Victoria park Monday, coinciding with dozens of other demonstrations that were held this weekend across Canada.
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"A lot of people are hurt, they're angry," Yeyatalunyuhe George said. The Oneida Nation of the Thames activist said the verdict points to racism in the justice system.
"I think this sets a precedent for the court system. This sends a message to people that this is okay, and that you can get away with killing somebody."
The verdict, delivered Friday evening, caused widespread outcry, with the Prime Minister tweeting his condolences to Boushie's family.
Just spoke with <a href="https://twitter.com/Puglaas?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Puglaas</a>. I can't imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight. Sending love to them from the US.—@JustinTrudeau
Suggestions that race played a role in the verdict has prompted conversations about the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
Chippewa of the Thames Chief Myeengun Henry said his immediate thought was how justice would have played out if this had happened in reverse.
Henry said it's important that Indigenous people participate on juries, though he understands how a trial like this would make them reluctant.
"We need our people to be on juries to stop the racism that we've seen in this case."
The London rally for Bouchie is planned for 1 p.m. Monday at Victoria Park at the corner of Richmond and Central. Demonstrators will march to the courthouse on Queens Avenue.
"It's turning out to be a good thing. I wanted to raise awareness about the situation in a peaceful way," George said.
With files by Richard Raycraft