RCMP will not charge a stabbing victim who was accused of threatening his attacker outside a Red Deer courtroom earlier this month.
Linden Joseph Lee Buffalo had just been sentenced to 60 days in prison for aggravated assault, and was standing outside the courtroom with family and friends, when they say Travis Peterson threatened Buffalo.
Police confirmed on Tuesday that no charges will be laid.
Kim Beaudin, national vice-chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, who had flown from Ottawa to support the Buffalo family at his sentencing, and witnessed the exchange, said he was not happy with the decision not to press charges.
“What really bothers me is that if (Peterson) was Indigenous, he probably would have had the book thrown at him,” said Beaudin.
The Buffalo family have been frustrated with the court system since Linden was charged following an August 2017 fight with Peterson.
Peterson had gone to the home Buffalo shared with Peterson’s daughter when she phoned in a panic after an altercation with Buffalo, her boyfriend at the time.
Peterson arrived and punched Buffalo once in the face as he lay in bed. Buffalo grabbed a knife and stabbed Peterson in the neck and hip, and Peterson also suffered a sliced hand trying to defend himself.
At his trial, the judge determined Buffalo acted in self-defence for the two stabs, but was found guilty of aggravated assault for Peterson’s hand wound.
Buffalo was initially charged with attempted murder, which Beaudin criticized as “overreach” by the prosecutor. The charge was later downgraded to aggravated assault.
Buffalo’s supporters believe he acted in self-defence and should not have been convicted.
Beaudin agrees. “If I felt he was in the wrong, I wouldn’t be backing him up.”
Beaudin said the family hopes to appeal the aggravated assault and mischief convictions from the trial.
“I think on appeal, he will win,” he said. Buffalo had no previous criminal record.
The convictions will have a big impact on Buffalo’s life if allowed to stand, he said.
“When you have a record like that, it follows you for life. If affects anything you do.”