A man photographed at the June 15 Vancouver riot following the Canucks' Game 7 loss to the Stanley Cup-winning Boston Bruins.

VPD says riot charges still ‘months away’

Care needed to deliver strongest justice: police chief




Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu says charges against Stanley Cup rioters can’t be rushed into court without risk of weakening the ensuing prosecutions.

He spoke out Wednesday, defending the more than two-month wait so far for charges to be laid in the June 15 crime spree that saw mobs torch cars and loot dozens of stores downtown.

“If we rush cases to court, we risk losing them by being ineffective and inefficient,” Chu told reporters. “If you are in favour of speed, you are in favour of more acquittals and lighter sentences.”

The chief sought to calm public demands for faster action – especially after hundreds of rioters in Britain were quickly rounded up and charged within days of much more severe civil unrest.

“It will take months before all the evidence is processed and we are ready to make arrests,” he said, adding he shares the public’s frustration.

“Canada is not Britain. Our laws are different, our courts are different and our riots are different.”

Unlike the U.K., where police lay charges directly, police in B.C. forward recommendations to Crown counsel, who approve charges.

The video evidence of the rioters after the Canucks’ Game 7 loss is also different.

Unlike the mix of camera phone images captured by onlookers and store surveillance video recorded in Vancouver, British investigators are armed with government-run surveillance camera recordings that are less subject to dispute over possible doctoring.

Police have identified 259 separate crimes so far, Chu said, each incident involving as many as 300 individuals.

A total of 268 suspects have been identified so far, he added.

A total of 41 people have turned themselves in so far.

But while charges might seem simple in at least those cases, Chu said care is still required.

He said some people confessed to a minor infraction at the riot, hoping to avoid prosecution on more serious charges – which detailed examination of videos show are warranted.

“Some people have been brought in by their parents when there is actually no evidence that we can identify that they committed a criminal act.”

The VPD is collaborating with an Indiana-based crime lab and an international association of investigators with expertise in video analysis to help comb through the 1,600 hours of riot footage in weeks rather than the up to two years Chu said might be needed if handled solely by local police.

Chu also said a new website will soon be launched to keep the public apprised of the investigation’s progress, a step he called highly unusual.

That will display the photos of 150 new riot suspects on whom police are seeking information.

“No one is more frustrated than I am that every last one of them is not before the courts or in prison as we speak.”

PHOTOS: A man photographed at the June 15 Stanley Cup riot (top). Above: Investigators examine video of participants in the riot.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Surrey man facing charges related to child pornography

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

COVID-19: Update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 3: Americans travelling through B.C. shouldn’t be stopping during COVID-19: Horgan

Proposed White Rock waterfront zoning questioned by residents

Group says approval will create a precedent of increased height on West Beach

White Rock boosts parking enforcement budget

Staff suggests city-wide review of regulations and best practices

UPDATE: Military reservist facing 22 charges after allegedly ramming gates at Rideau Hall

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Missing Fraser Valley woman has not been in contact with family for several months

The RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating 35-year-old Chantelle Chenier of Chilliwack

Most Read

l -->