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Canada's Apartheid, by John Stackhouse
Stories
Introduction
  Nov. 3

Welcome to Harlem on the Prairies
  Nov. 3 (Saskatoon, SK)

Crystal's choice: The best of both worlds
  Nov. 5 (Mississauga, ON)

How the Mi'kmaq profit from fear
  Nov. 6 (Cape Breton, NS)

The healing power of hockey
  Nov. 7 (The Pas, MB)

Norma Rae of the Okanagan
  Nov. 8 (Westbank, BC)

Comic genius or 'niggers in red face'?
  Nov. 9 (Regina, SK)

Praying for a miracle
  Nov. 10 (Lac Ste. Anne, AB)

To have and to have not
  Nov. 12 (Moosonee, ON)

Trouble in paradise
  Nov. 19 (Tofino, BC)

A cut of the action
  Nov. 26 (Wabigoon, ON)

The young and the restless
  Dec. 3 (Ashern, MB)

The wireless warrior's digital dream
  Dec. 10 (Ottawa,ON)

'Everyone thought we were stupid'
  Dec. 14 (Salluit, QC)

First step: End the segregation
  Dec. 15 (Last in the series)

 

All-white jury to hear case against police accused of dumping native

RELATED STORY

By CRAIG WONG
Canadian Press
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Saskatoon, SK

SASKATOON -- An all-white jury was picked yesterday to try two police officers accused of dumping an aboriginal man on the outskirts of the city in freezing winter weather.

"There's no aboriginal people there at all, not one," said Loretta Wilson, an aboriginal woman who was among the pool from which the jury was chosen.

"This process, it wasn't fair. It wasn't fair at all."

Ms. Wilson said she would have liked to see six aboriginals on the 12-member panel.

"I was willing to be fair if I had been picked, listened to the evidence and everything," she said.

But lawyers for the accused officers said the jury selection process was just.

"I think we picked a jury that will listen to the case and render a fair and just verdict," defence lawyer Bill Roe said.

"I have great faith in the jury system. I think that juries are fair and that they do the right thing and I think this jury falls into that category. The age, race and background [of members] doesn't matter."

Dan Hatchen and Ken Munson, both veteran Saskatoon city police officers, are charged with assault and unlawful confinement.

They were charged after Darrell Night alleged two officers apprehended him without cause and later forced him out of their cruiser near an outlying power station on Jan. 28, 2000, when the temperature dipped to -25.

Sitting within arm's reach of the accused, prospective jurors were asked five questions regarding what they had heard about the case and what influence race might have upon them.

"Would your ability to judge the evidence in this case without bias, prejudice or partiality be affected by the fact that the persons charged are white and the complainant is aboriginal?" Mr. Justice Eugene Scheibel of Court of Queen's Bench asked each prospective juror.

Judge Scheibel also queried all 29 of the people who came before him about whether they had formed any opinions about the accused because of news reports.

Seven men and five women were chosen.

Two alternates were also picked for the trial, which is scheduled to begin today.

The officers had asked the judge to move the trial from Saskatoon because of intense media scrutiny of the case, but the judge refused.

Morris Bodnar, Mr. Munson's lawyer, defended the selection of an all-white jury from the more than 100 people selected for the jury panel.

"The jury panel is selected by the sheriff's office," Mr. Bodnar said.

No representative of the Crown was available for comment.

The case has strained relations between the police and Saskatchewan's aboriginal community.

A court appearance by the two officers last year garnered national attention when angry spectators got in a shouting match about racism outside the courthouse.


THIS STORY AT A GLANCE (Parts 1 to 9 plus related stories and links):


Photo Essay
On the beat


1. Welcome to Harlem on the Prairies
Ride along with Constables Jim Louttits and Dean Hoover as they arrest a regular

2. A city divided
Allegations of rampant police abuse and complaints from the force about the native community

3. To serve and protect
Two Saskatoon police officers find themselves caught between cultures and responsible to both

Reader feedback
Check out what readers had to say about Welcome to Harlem on the Prairies.
4. The Indian's cop and the cowboy
A partnership restricted to work and focused on the task at hand

5. Keeping the peace
At 3 a.m., the shift gets busy

6. The stereotypes of 20th Street
Social agencies fight against the economics of poverty
7. Division among the Chiefs
Some leaders see police as problem, others look to the system
8. Changing the face of Saskatoon's force
Recruiting natives isn't easy - they see police as 'the enemy'
9. Daylight breaks
'Policing by its very nature means force because you're making people comply'

Related stories and links
Background information and surfing opportunities


 
 

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photo essays
Two worlds - photo essay


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