The 1994 Stanley Cup Riot occurred in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on the evening of June 14, 1994 and continued into the following morning. The riot arose after Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals in which the Vancouver Canucks lost to the New York Rangers.

After the NHL contest was concluded, 50,000 to 70,000 individuals reportedly converged upon Downtown Vancouver. What initially was a gathering developed into a riot at Robson and Thurlow Street. This happened after an accident involving a man who fell from a lamp standard into the crowd below. The Police, who were on bicycles, attempted to escort paramedics into the crowd. However, when the crowd attempted to take a bicycle from one constable, they retreated and warned the crowd to disperse. The riot squad congregated on Thurlow St. on the West side. Shortly after that the police fired tear gas into the crowd and people ran in all directions. As the police regained control of the streets, a police constable was left in front of major retail stores that had had their windows broken. Tear gas wafted through the open windows of residents of the West End that night, and St. Paul's hospital placed guards at the emergency room entrance to prevent tear gas victims from entering, claiming there was nothing that could be done for them. Eventually, some bowls with water were placed outside by the security guards for those suffering from tear gas. The NY Times also reported on this event. [1] Total damage to the downtown core was estimated at $1.1 million CAD. Like other Robson and surrounding retailers, the then Eaton's department store had more than 50 of its storefront windows smashed.

Subduing the crowd required the efforts of both the Vancouver Police Department and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers. In all, 540 officers were directly involved with the riot. Many individuals were arrested and charged, and up to 200 individuals were injured.[2]


Ryan Berntt, a rioter who was shot in the head with a plastic bullet by police, causing a four-week coma and permanent brain damage, filed a civil suit against police and the City of Vancouver claiming excessive force. In 1997, he was found 75 percent liable for his own injuries, however, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ordered a new trial in 1999. In 2001, Berntt's civil suit was dismissed by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.[3][4] The Vancouver police department have from then on had better riot preparation and have taken all necessary precautions whenever large gatherings are present.

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