Riot website seeks to identify suspects

Vancouver police on defensive over delays

The Vancouver Police Department launched a new website designed to involve the public in identifying riot suspects.

The Vancouver Police Department launched a new website designed to involve the public in identifying riot suspects.



A new website launched Tuesday by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) to identify Stanley Cup riot suspects is generating dozens of new tips and garnering thousands of hits.

The riot2011.vpd.ca site initially shows 40 suspects, who viewers are invited to identify and provide other details, such as age and current location.

The launch came as VPD Chief Jim Chu again sought to explain the delays in charging suspects in the June 15 riot, including the 42 who have turned themselves in to police.

Just two men have so far been charged from the night of violence downtown, while police in London have already charged more than 1,000 suspects from riots there in early August.

“We’re not pulling our punches, we’re going for the most serious charges we can get,” Chu said Tuesday.

VPD officials said they have the names of more than 1,100 potential riot suspects but need more time to analyze the 1,600 hours of video recorded at the riot.

Chu said he wants as many rioters as possible charged with participating in a riot – a more serious offence than theft or mischief that carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.

Prosecuting someone on a lesser charge now might let them escape justice on the more serious riot charge, he said, because “double jeopardy” prevents someone from being punished twice for the same thing.

“We don’t get two chances at this,” Chu said. “You get one kick at the can.”

He predicted a rush to prosecute will mean more acquittals and lighter sentences for the most serious offenders.

SFU criminology professor Rob Gordon said Chu is correct about double jeopardy after a conviction is made on a lesser count.

But he said there is plenty of scope for Crown to add more serious charges to an indictment after initial ones are laid but before a conviction and sentencing.

“I well understand the police position,” Gordon said. “They don’t want to go ahead with charges and convictions only to discover the person they nailed was in fact responsible for more than they confessed to. It’s a matter of balancing speedy justice with certain justice.”

He said he still doesn’t understand why charges haven’t at least been laid in some of the watertight cases – particularly ones where videos prove rioters torched police cars.

Gordon said the VPD will likely seek to charge and parade all the rioters to court together in a batch.

An independent review on what could have been done to prevent or contain the Vancouver riot is slated for release Thursday. The review is co-chaired by former Vanoc CEO John Furlong.

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

Just Posted

Signs up at Hope Secondary School inform visitors that the school is a closed campus during the coronavirus pandemic. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
SD78 Briefs: COVID-19 exposures and safe schools, mental health training coming

Principal of alternate school TREC examines reward program for students

City of Chilliwack survey asks for feedback on planned Rosedale skate park

The new structure will occupy a 3,000 square foot space in the middle of Rosedale Park

File
Agassiz Speedway hosts food drive for AHCS

Food, toys, cash and more accepted at Super Valu in Agassiz, Nov. 28

(Left to right) Brandon Kloot, board member with John Kampman, board chair, and Matt Van Muyen, System Principal at Unity Christian School pose with the sold sign on a 8.1 acre property the school has purchased to plan for future growth, November, 2020. (Submitted photo)
Land purchase by Unity Christian will help with future growth

New acquisition ‘promises to be a blessing for the long-term future of our school’ says board chair

File
Exterior Christmas decorators wanted Agassiz Seniors Community

Call to action to brighten the upcoming holiday season for isolated seniors

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

Most Read