A forum held at Kwantlen Polytechnic University this week tried to analyze what went wrong the night of the riot June 15 in Vancouver.

The anatomy of a riot

Surrey group analyzes what went wrong in Vancouver.

The night of the Stanley Cup riot (June 15), it was apparent many people in downtown Vancouver were not there to watch the hockey game, a Vancouver police officer told a crowd at Kwantlen Polytechnic University on Wednesday.

“Twice in my career have I been very, very scared for my well-being, and one of those was the night of the riot,” the officer said.

The mood of the crowd turned ugly quickly and early. Before the first period of the game, people were already kicking windows and smashing bottles, said the officer, who asked that his name not be used for publication.

As the game progressed, things got worse.

“They weren’t even watching the game. They were drinking and looking around for a reason to cause trouble,” he said.

What causes people to engage in riot activity was the purpose of last week’s forum, “Anatomy of a Riot,” held at Kwantlen’s Newton campus.

The forum began with stories from people who were downtown that night.

Heather Atkinson, 24, was huddled in a local pharmacy, waiting out the mob as hundreds of people looted the store.

Atkinson, a loss prevention officer with London Drugs and a criminology student at Kwantlen, told the group of about 200 students she was holed up in the store with seven other loss prevention officers and a dozen staff.

“How could I best describe it? It was literally from a zombie movie,” Atkinson said of the unruly mob.

Dr. Roger Tweed, a professor of psychology at Kwantlen, described some of the things that cause people to behave violently, with the “mother of all variables” being income inequality. Lack of parental supervision, few extra-curricular activities and violence in the home are also contributing factors, he said.

Dr. Diane Naugler, a Kwantlen professor of sociology, said observers played a huge role in egging on the crowd.

The proliferation of cameras and social media, she said, encouraged more people to stay, intensifying the riot.

Cameras and social media legitimized the event as “post-worthy” as people posted it on Twitter and Facebook, she added.

Former Vancouver Olympic boss John Furlong and former Nova Scotia deputy attorney general Doug Keefe have been appointed co-chairs of a review into the Stanley Cup riot.

The review team is to report to the province and city of Vancouver by Aug. 31. It will look at the lessons of the 1994 Stanley Cup riot, and the plans by Vancouver Police to prepare for the 2011 event.

— with files from Tom Fletcher

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction underway for new Cloverdale elementary school

The $33 million school is to seat 655 students

George Garrett retires from Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society board

Society completes more than 58,000 trips since 2016

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

Two Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, including second contact for Panorama Ridge

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read