Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot Yields Canada’s Most Charges

Vancouver police said last year’s Stanley Cup riot will lead to criminal charges against more than 300 people, a total that Chief Constable Jim Chu said is the biggest from one incident in Canadian history.

Vancouver Canucks fans broke windows, looted shops and set fires in the city following their team’s home loss to the Boston Bruins in the decisive seventh game of last season’s National Hockey League Stanley Cup Final on June 15, 2011.

Vancouver police said there have been 674 charges brought against 225 suspected rioters, with the Integrated Riot Investigation Team today delivering 82 more charges against 25 suspected rioters.

“For those rioters who think they’ve gotten away with it, investigators are still conducting active investigations, and we expect to recommend charges on a further 100 individuals in the coming months,” Chu said in a statement. “By the time we are done, we expect that we will exceed 300 persons charged with over 900 criminal charges.”

Today’s announcement comes as the riot investigation team prepares to be scaled back to 27 members from 70 on July 31.

The riot caused more than $3.4 million in damage, police said, with 112 businesses hit and 122 vehicles damaged or destroyed. There were also 52 identified assaults.

The investigation has stretched over a year as more than 5,500 hours of video were examined and processed in more than 100 formats, police said. By comparison, investigators had 100 hours of video to examine in one format, VHS, from the 1994 Vancouver riot that followed a Stanley Cup Final loss to the New York Rangers. A total of 50 forensic analysts representing 40 law enforcement agencies in North America and the U.K. have worked on the 2011 investigation.

Police said that 83 percent of the alleged rioters were from cities outside Vancouver.

“We believe this is the greatest number of people charged with a crime arising from one incident in Canadian history,” Chu said.

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