May 9/97: Charges against 3 Stoney Pointers dropped


London Free Press
Friday, May 9, 1997
Julie Carl - Sarnia Bureau

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context.]

SARNIA -- Three Stoney Point natives were exonerated in court here Thursday for their role in the takeover of Ipperwash Provincial Park in September 1995.

Charges of forcibly entering the park against Roderick Abraham George, 41, Glenn Morris George, 34, and Abraham David George, 26, were dismissed.

The men are all cousins, and also related to Dudley George, who was shot by OPP acting Sgt. Kenneth Deane during a skirmish outside the park Sept. 6, 1995.

Deane is to be sentenced on a charge of criminal negligence causing death May 27.

Roderick George said outside court the ruling shows that the natives were honest and accurate about their claim on the park from the beginning of the takeover Sept. 4, 1995.

"When the OPP had their first press releases, they said we were breaking the law, that we were trespassing like that was beyond a shadow of a doubt," he said.

"Now (people) have to look at that again. This proves they weren't telling the truth, and we were."

JUDGE AGREED: Judge A.M. Graham said in his ruling he agreed with both Crown attorney and defence lawyers that the charge of forcible entry hinges on the definition of "entry," which has a broader definition in this charge than in the charge of break and enter.

The manner of entry in this charge must be in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace or reasonable apprehension of a breach of the peace, the Criminal Code of Canada asserts.

Graham ruled acts which breach the peace must have a causal connection to the entry.

He said there was no evidence to show when the three entered the park. And although two of the three were charged with acts which breached the peace later in the evening, and one was near another person breaching the peace, Graham said, he was not satisfied the acts were connected to the entry.

AT FIRST: Originally 23 people, mostly Stoney Point natives, were charged with forcible entry and "forcible detainee" -- a form of unlawful seizure -- of the park.

The Crown attorney withdrew the forcible detainee charge, saying it could not be proven because the natives had a reasonable belief they had a claim to the park.

The Crown attorney also withdrew the forcible entry charges against 20 of the people, saying there was no evidence as to how they entered the park.

As the three cousins on trial Thursday sat in the front row of court, two holding eagle feathers, the courtroom filled with supporters.

Among them was Melva George, Glenn George's mother and a Stoney Point elder, who held a staff adorned with tobacco ties and feathers.

SUPPORT GROUPS: Students from native support groups at the University of Waterloo and Sir Wilfrid Laurier in Kitchener-Waterloo also attended.

Roderick George pleaded guilty Thursday to mischief.

His lawyer, Bob Kellermann of Toronto, told Graham his client said he was not proud of having smashed in the window of a police cruiser in a moment of anger in the first hours of the park takeover.

Roderick George was ordered to pay the $692.33 repair bill, a $500 fine and be on probation for 12 months.

David George is charged with assaulting a peace officer and possession of a weapon, a flare, dangerous to the public peace.

MISTAKE DISCOVERED: (The charge has been reported as assault with a weapon in other stories because the Crown and defence attorneys had referred to that charge. The mistake was discovered Thursday when the court clerk read aloud the correct charge.)

Graham heard evidence Thursday from Wesley George, 17, a cousin of David George's, that he (Wesley) had thrown flares at police officers in the first hours of the takeover.

Under the Canada Evidence Act, testimony given by Wesley George cannot be used against him in another trial.

However, police could gather other evidence and charge him, said Peter Hatch of Toronto, David George's lawyer.

Graham reserved his decision on David George's trial until May 26.

"This proves they weren't telling the truth, and we were."
- Roderick George on the judge's ruling which dismissed
forcible entry charges against him and two cousins

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