Riot Review Backs Police, Chief Says
Both Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu and Mayor Gregor Robertson say the review of the Stanley Cup riot supports their position that there was little more they could have done to prevent what happened.
Chu told a news conference Thursday that the the report from the independent review suggested that a greater number of police officers on the streets of Vancouver could not have prevented the mayhem that erupted in the aftermath of the final game of the Stanley Cup June 15.
The review, "confirms that there is no plausible number of police that could have prevented what happened," he said.
"Sadly, it would seem that there is no magic solution to protect ourselves from those intent on creating this type of harm."
Chu admitted that, "some mistakes were made," by police before and during the riot, but added that, "the reviewers concluded that none of the mistakes would have made a substantial difference that night."
The review also found that nearly half of the officers who completed a post-riot survey said they were ill-equipped, that equipment vans were placed too far away from the centre of the riot, and a defective radio system meant RCMP commanders didn't hear the order to put on riot gear.
Mayor says city not implicated
At a separate news conference, Robertson noted that the report does not point fingers at the city.
"The police were given the resources that they requested to conduct the event," said Robertson, who faces an election later this year. "As the report has stated, there was no political interference whatsoever in all of this."
Robertson said that he will hold an open council meeting on Sept. 6 to discuss the report and plans for future events, like this fall's Grey Cup football game in Vancouver.
"The recommendations from Mr. Furlong and Mr. Keefe are tangible, we can move quickly on them, and I am committed as mayor to seeing all the recommendations they made for the city put into action," Robertson said.
But Coun. Susan Anton, who will challenge Robertson for mayor, said the mayor's office did not provide good leadership.
"This was run ... out of the mayor's office, without supervision or much interest by the mayor in the operational details. I think that's shocking."