SEATTLE – Vancouver, B.C., police Monday announced it is recommending charges against 60 people allegedly involved in the riots following the Canucks’ loss in the Stanley Cup Finals last June.
More than 100 people were arrested and 150 people were injured in the riot that tore apart downtown Vancouver on June 15. Damage was estimated near $5 million.
In a statement, Chief Constable Jim Chu answered critics who said police were moving too slowly in the investigation. Chu said he wanted to make sure suspects answered for all their crimes rather than rush them through court for a handful of charges.
In one example, Chu explained that one suspect spotted his picture on Facebook. He turned himself in and apologized for damaging a car. Police were going to charge him with a single count of mischief. But, investigators using video evidence allegedly linked him to assisting in flipping a car, damaging several others, smashing out a window with a skateboard, damaging an unmarked police car and breaking and entering three different businesses.
Chu said if police had sped the investigation along, many of those charges never would have been filed.
“I wish there could have been a quicker and simpler way to bring the rioters before the courts and as tempting as it may have been to some to take those short cuts, we still believe that we owed it to the victims of the riot and the residents of community to take the time necessary to build the best cases possible,” said Chu.
The 60 suspects face a total of 163 criminal charges. More arrests are expected in the future.