Vancouver Riot Update
Police Chief Jim Chu recommends 163 charges in Vancouver riot investigation
With 15,000 criminal acts recorded, laying charges on vandals and thieves involved in the Stanley Cup riot has encompassed the largest police investigation in Vancouver’s history.
After the Vancouver Canucks lost in game 7 against the Boston Bruins on June 15th, cars were torched and flipped, stores looted, windows smashed and pedestrians beat up and injured.
Today police Chief Jim Chu announced 163 recommended charges for the first 60 people involved in the violent riot – including aggravated assault, break and enter, arson, and participating in a riot.
Chu has defended the lengthy process of the investigation since June, through public criticism that criminals haven’t been apprehended quickly enough. In a statement released today, Chu said:
“Over the past few months there have been those who told us that the decision to be thorough was wrong. They urged us to rush the cases to court.
But we believe the public expects more from the police. We believe the community supports the independence of the police and our professional judgement to conduct thorough investigations, not cut corners in order to satisfy the vocal criticisms of a few.
The decision we made on June 16th has led us to today. I am very pleased to tell you that we have been arresting suspected rioters and recommending charges to Crown Counsel.”
Police are continuing to sift through hundreds of video clips and pictures from bystanders who witnessed these crimes on the night of the riot.
Chu also outlined some individual rioter cases and what they’re being charged for – smashing windows, assisting in flipping police cars, jumping on vehicles, breaking into and damaging department stores or businesses, assault causing bodily harm and disguising themselves with the intent to commit an offence, etc.
Of the 60 Canucks rioters in this first round of charges, 50 are men, 10 are women; the youngest is 16 years of age, and oldest 52, 30 per cent are from Surrey, 20 per cent from Vancouver, and 15 per cent are from Burnaby.