Province, city reviewing riot aftermath

Solicitor General Shirley Bond's pre-game pleas to celebrate responsibly went out the window along with the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup hopes Wednesday night, leaving the city and the province to clean up and assess their crowd control strategy.

Rioters vandalize an unmarked police car in downtown Vancouver Wednesday night after the Canucks loss in the Stanley Cup final.

Solicitor General Shirley Bond’s pre-game plea to celebrate responsibly went out the window along with the Vancouver Canucks’ hopes for the Stanley Cup Wednesday night, leaving the city and the province to clean up and reassess their crowd control strategy.

At a tense news conference with fire officials Thursday, Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said there will be multiple reviews of the response to the Stanley Cup riot of 2011, including the big question of whether the city should abandon the practice of encouraging thousands of people to gather downtown.

RCMP and Abbotsford Police reinforcements, sent in after post-game crowds turned violent, took three hours to stop extensive damage and looting in downtown stores. A strategy of “meet and greet” by police crowd control units with people watching on giant TV screens had little deterrent effect.

As the mayhem was covered on live television, Bond urged thousands of picture-snapping spectators to go home.

Lessons learned from the 1994 Stanley Cup riot helped get the situation under control in half the time as the events of 17 years ago, Chu said, and police were dealing with many more rioters and hangers-on.

Chu identified the key perpetrators as the same group of “anarchists and criminals” who disrupted the 2010 Olympics. They are opportunists, looking for big crowds to hide their activities, he said.

Police did not anticipate the full impact of wireless social media on crowds, invited to gather at downtown “live sites” to watch in the tradition of the 2010 Olympics. Huge crowds of drunken spectators with camera phones delayed police and fire crews from stopping the looting and burning.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson also identified “a small group of troublemakers” as the primary cause.

Premier Christy Clark told CKNW radio Thursday that the review has to focus on the social media factor, and use new technology to identify people caught in video and still images.

“We have to make sure that the hard-core group of troublemakers is punished,” Clark said.

Just Posted

Sushi, sake and silk kimono

“The Kimono of Ichimaru” opening night at Fernie Museum attracts sellout crowd

Mexico-bound Tour Divide riders complete first day, pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody, 6 months since release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

New society to spearhead ramp building project in Fernie

Gracie Lou Foundation launches to make Fernie more inclusive; ramp building event slated for June 22

GALLERY: Week-long Coal Miner Days a huge success

Skate jam set to become a permanent fixture of Coal Miner Days; other events well attended

VIDEO: Huge crowds gather in downtown Toronto for Raptors parade

Mayor John Tory declares it ‘We The North Day’ after team’s historic NBA title win

Elk Valley Bulls RFC reclaim Kootenay Cup

Elk Valley beats Cranbrook 7-5 to win Kootenay Cup; team off to provincials in September

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read