VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Between smart phones, cameras, and news crews, there’s no shortage of crystal clear images and video from the riot.
Vancouver Police are hoping they will lead to convictions for those who took part in the destruction, and one lawyer says that evidence will stand.
News1130 legal analyst Michael Shapray says once police know who submitted the photos, and are certain about the identity of the people in them, prosecution is straight forward. “A still picture is obviously much more difficult than a video, because still pictures can be taken out of context. Video evidence can be very strong. I think it will make prosecution of people doing things captured on video very easy.”
He says the hooligans could be nailed with a variety of offences: from mischief, theft, robbery, and break and enter, to assault and obstruction of justice.
He warns those who spurred the thugs on are also subject to charges. “People there cheering vandals on and promoting their activities could theoretically be charged as a party of the offence through the ‘aiding and abetting’ provisions of the criminal code.”
He notes even someone who might have taken a single kick at an overturned car can be charged.
No Shortage of Material
It wasn’t just police and news crews capturing footage of the riot.
SFU Communications Professor Peter Chow-White says it looked like some people were taking pictures for their Facebook page. “There’s a lot of documentation going on and it really goes to show what kind of surveillance society we live in now, where everything you do you need to be careful these days in public because it can be captured.”
Those disgusted with the behaviour of the rioters are now starting Facebook pages and blogs in hopes of finding those responsible for the violence.
Photos Go Viral
In other cases photos are going viral, such as the photo of what appears to be a young couple kissing as the riot goes on behind them.
The photo has spread quickly online, with many now wanting to know the back story of how the two ended up embracing during the height of the violence.