Online video showing jury delivering Gerald Stanley verdict 'of grave concern,' says Sask. justice ministry
A video posted online Friday of a Saskatchewan jury delivering its not-guilty verdict in the Gerald Stanley trial has sparked "grave concern" in the provincial Ministry of Justice.
"The ministry is aware and is taking steps to address this," said Drew Wilby, a spokesperson for the ministry.
"It is of grave concern that someone would post this publicly. We have referred the matter to the RCMP."
Recording the Stanley trial was prohibited, as is the case in most Canadian trials.
Stanley, 56, was acquitted of responsibility in the shooting death of Colten Boushie after a tense two-week trial. Boushie, 22, was shot and killed after he and four others from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation drove onto Stanley's rural property in August 2016.
The verdict immediately sparked strong reactions and inspired rallies in several Canadian cities over the weekend in support of the Boushie family.
Video taken in public viewing room
The one-minute-and-13-second video was taken from a room reserved for the public on the ground floor of the Battleford Court of Queen's Bench, where the trial took place.
The room was equipped with TVs showing a live-feed of Chief Justice Martel Popescul, the lawyers arguing each side of the case, the public gallery and members of the 12-person jury.
The video begins with the jury foreman reading out the "not guilty" verdict. As people react with shock in the public gallery, Popescul arranges his papers and instructs the jurors to remain seated.
Cries of "Murderer!" then follow from the gallery and Stanley is rushed out of the room by a sheriff's deputy, with jurors quickly following suit.
The back half of the video shows Stanley being ushered into a truck outside of the courthouse.
Up to RCMP to lay charges
The RCMP said it's aware of the video.
Wilby said it would be up to the RCMP to decide what charges, if any, are laid against the person who posted the video.
The RCMP said it's also monitoring comments made online about the trial.