Police say they’re alarmed by “social-media chatter” in the aftermath of a stabbing during a fight last weekend that killed a 15-year-old boy.
Sergeant Steve Addison says Vancouver police are “asking everybody to stay calm after we’ve seen an uptick in potentially harmful online rhetoric.”
He says some posts have misidentified teens as being involved in the incident, and others have inappropriately singled people out for retribution.
The Vancouver Police Department’s major crime section is investigating the stabbing that took place Saturday in a park in the city’s west side.
They say the 15-year-old boy died Sunday after undergoing surgery for a stab wound to the chest and a 14-year-old boy has been charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Sgt. Addison says in a statement “tensions and emotions are running high, and we’re very worried this could lead to more conflict amongst youth.”
“We’re pleading with teens to take a deep breath and to stay calm, and we ask parents to speak to their kids about what they’re posting on social media so we can avoid any other serious incidents,” he says.
Police say they’re temporarily deploying additional officers to the area.
“We do understand that there’s some chatter online about a potential vigil taking place, as well as some other events, and we just want to make sure that we are able to monitor those events and respond appropriately should we be needed,” Sgt. Addison told a news conference on Tuesday.
Sgt. Addison declined to say whether police have reached out to people who have made inappropriate posts online, saying that would delve into the investigative side of this case.
We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.