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Friday, August 29, 2008

The Stonechild “Stink Test”

The Stonechild “Stink Test”

By Candis McLean & Cst. Larry Lockwood (retired)

Applying the “Stink Test” to the Stonechild inquiry reveals something rotten in the province of Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan justice system has offered up two more Saskatoon police officers in what some see as an attempt to appease aboriginal activists with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations who are lobbying for their own justice system. Two appeal decisions were handed down this summer, both going against former Saskatoon constables Larry Hartwig and Brad Senger. On June 20th, a Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled it would not quash a judge’s findings in the 2004 inquiry into the 1990 freezing death of Saskatoon aboriginal youth, Neil Stonechild. The judge at the inquiry had found that the officers had Stonechild in their custody the night he went missing; the officers have always denied this, and believe the judge acted outside the inquiry’s terms of reference in making that finding. On July 28th, in a separate decision, the Saskatchewan Police Commission upheld the Saskatoon police chief’s decision, based on the inquiry, to fire the officers….

Csts. Hartwig and Senger were both fired from their jobs as a direct result of the Stonechild Inquiry, with both officers having been branded in the public eye as murderers. No charges have ever been brought against these officers in a court of law which would permit them to clear their names, and here we are, some six years later, with the lives of these officers and their families destroyed by a process that was neither fair nor impartial, based on the false assumption that Stonechild was in police custody the night he went missing….

Read the “The Stonechild ‘Stink Test’” here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on August 29, 2008 in Aboriginal Issues | Permalink


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A friend of mine died in a snowbank 30 years ago, and was last seen in the back of an RCMP cruiser. It's amazing how fast witnesses disappear and lose their memories when the RCMP are involved. It's a whole lot more frightening than testifying against gang members. The main witness in my friend's case moved 3 provinces away within a week. He was brought back for "questioning", then moved away permanently. By the way, my friend was white.

I don't take any of the testimony seriously in cases like this. The only thing you need to look at is the bare facts. What was this kid doing in an industrial area in the middle of a cold night? Was he murdered? Was he in police custody that night at any time? Are there any witnesses to this type of thing happening before (a pattern)?

Getting a murder conviction would be impossible because of the racial prejudice in Saskatoon's justice system. What happened to the officers sounds about as close as we will ever get to real justice.

Posted by: dp | 2008-08-29 7:32:25 AM

dp: Real justice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Why don't people of all kinds just try to get along? Use your head, not your heart, to cope with living with people and circumstance. Eventually your heart will come to be wiser.

Posted by: dewp | 2008-08-29 11:03:38 PM

I have always believed that these two poor officers were used as political scapegoats. The way the Ms. McLean & Mr. Lockwood lay out what would have happened for the version accepted by Justice Wright to be true just made everything so clear. It's unbelievable that such a thing could happen in our country. I just hope that the Supreme Court is far enough away from the political interference that it's able to rule based on law and truth rather than on politics.

Posted by: otis | 2008-08-30 1:17:55 AM

I'm sure they appreciate your support Constable Otis.

Posted by: dp | 2008-08-30 5:32:26 AM

Hey Candis,

First of all, I'm curious as to how you got my mother's home telephone number.

You called her today, Sept. 13, 2008. I'm curious how accusations of my brother being the last to see Stonechild alive are only being brought up now that he's passed away. If this was the case one would think that he would of been questioned about this with the other witnesses when the investigation was on going. I don't understand why it's just being brought up now that he's passed. He was murdered 4 months ago, and we only hear of this now??? I don't understand, because if what you're saying is correct, that would of made him a key witness and I'm sure the Police Dept. would of been on top of him to get the answers needed to help in the investigation.

We are still mourning my brother's death and your recent contact is causing a whole new set of grief.

I would appreciate that you contact me instead of my mother in the future, she's not ready to deal with something like this. She's still waiting for answers about her own son's murder.

Thank you

Posted by: Crystal | 2008-09-13 11:13:18 PM

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