Today, Vancouver Police took the unusual step of issuing a formal statement to clarify a story that is being fed by wrong information and misguided conclusions.
Reports that VPD received information from the Liquor Control and Licensing Board that there would be a riot are simply wrong and untrue. The reports are based on a Freedom of Information request that retrieved information from the LCLB concerning liquor store closures on the day of the last game of the Stanley Cup finals.
It is being reported that the documents contained information from the LCLB warning the VPD that there was public drinking that could make crowd conditions unsafe. The information in those documents actually came from the VPD and other first responders. It is not information generated by the LCLB.
It is the same information the VPD gave to the media at the time and it is the same information widely reported in all the riot reviews as having come from the VPD. It was also information widely reported by the media at the time.
Despite these unalterable facts, stories are still being generated that say the VPD knew a riot was coming because the LCLB told them. This is absolutely false.
As difficult as it may be for some to hear, the VPD had no creditable information from anyone that a riot was about to occur. If anyone in the media had information to that effect we would welcome them to come forward and explain why they never shared it.
Most of the reporting on the riot and the aftermath has been accurate and insightful, but some has been misleading and inflammatory – suggestions that LCLB documents reveal prior knowledge of a riot falls squarely into the latter category.
We are concerned about stories created that choose to inflame the rhetoric about the riot based on wrong information, as we were originally concerned by stories and reporters who beat the drum most loudly inciting crowds to gather in the first place. We would respectfully ask that facts be checked and confirmed.