A video posted online Friday of a Saskatchewan jury delivering its not guilty verdict in Gerald Stanley’s murder trial has been taken down after it sparked “grave concern” at the province’s Ministry of Justice on Monday.
The video was removed from Facebook Monday afternoon.
“It is of grave concern that someone would post this publicly. We have referred the matter to the RCMP,” said Drew Wilby, a spokesperson for the ministry.
Recording the Stanley trial was prohibited, as is the case in most Canadian trials.
Before being taken down, the video was seen around 53,000 times.
Stanley, 56, was acquitted 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 video, just over a minute long, was taken in an overflow room reserved for the public on the ground floor of the Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench, while the trial was taking place upstairs.
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.
Gerald Stanley was acquitted on Friday in the shooting death of Colten Boushie. (Canadian Press)
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 second 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 and has launched an investigation.
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.