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

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.

Just Posted

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read