Vancouver police chief Jim Chu held a press conference in the aftermath of Wednesday night's riots, debriefing the public on what happened following the end of the Stanley Cup Final. Chu said the riots were caused by "anarchists and criminals disguised as Canucks fans," and that the groups came to the city with a clear goal in mind: To destroy property and riot. The groups came with masks, goggles and other equipment to ward off the police effort to disperse the crowd.
Chu maintained the groups causing the riots on Wednesday nights were the same criminals who took part in acts of vandalism during the 2010 Winter Olympics. He held up a mask worn by the criminal, which resembled a skull. Chu added that police took the area back within a few hours, and that it was handled relatively well.
A video of his statement can be found here.
While it may be true that some of the rioters and looters were young men and women hell-bent on causing damage and chaos, it's also clear that others were involved. It takes more than a small group to cause what occurred in Vancouver on Wednesday night, and bystanders watching, snapping pictures and encouraging the destruction did nothing to stop the riots.
It was a mix of fans gathered to watch the game and criminals that caused the riots on Wednesday night, and as it spiraled out of control, more bystanders became involved. Perhaps it was sparked by a misguided few, but the growing crowds served as fuel to the metaphorical fire. And we all watched the results unfold.
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Stay with this StoryStream for the latest on the Vancouver riots as it becomes available. For more on the game itself, head over to our Stanley Cup Finals StoryStream. We'll be following the events on Twitter, as well, and can be found @sbnseattle.