Monday September 01, 2014

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    Vancouver police recommend charges against 40 more suspected rioters

    VANCOUVER - Vancouver police have recommended charges against another 40 people in connection with the June 2011 Stanley Cup riot in downtown Vancouver and say that after 18 months of investigation, they are still sorting through evidence.

    Insp. Laurence Rankin told a news conference Friday that the length of time the investigation has taken so far is an indication of how complex it's been.

    "Even after a year and a half, we're still sifting through hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of video," Rankin said.

    "We didn't have a game book to follow. I think what we've learned is a legacy."

    Rankin said the investigation has, among other things, helped the department develop a cutting-edge forensic video unit and it can now adapt the investigative techniques it has learned to other investigations.

    The charges announced Friday are the 10th round of charges police have announced and they include eight counts of assault and nine counts of arson.

    In total, more than 1,000 charges have been laid against 315 people, Rankin said, noting police are still looking at additional suspects from the mayhem that saw mobs smash windows, burn cars and loot stores after the Canucks lost Game 7 of The Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins.

    Several people have already pleaded guilty for their part in the riot, and the Crown has indicated it will be appealing what it considers lenient sentences for two men.

    The Crown wanted a nine-month jail term for one man who got 60 days, to be served on weekend, while another got 90 days in jail on weekends although the Crown asked for a six-month sentence.

    More trials will be underway in 2013.

    Rankin said everyone who faces charges has been notified beforehand and given an opportunity to talk with police and offer their side of the story.

    "The reaction has been consistent. There are some that come in and basically ask for forgiveness and then you get others that are very entrenched in their position. They don't appear to be in any way remorseful and have contempt for police and the entire legal system."

    The inspector said the message behind the latest charges should be that "we're not giving up and we have not lost sight of the victims and what we need to do to address the wrongs against them."

    Rankin said he has sat in on interviews with victims and despite the passage of time, some people are still traumatized by what the events of that night.


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