Accused rioter denies charges, says she's been threatened

A woman recently charged in connection with the Stanley Cup riot in Downtown Vancouver last year, said she’s received death threats since discovering in The Richmond Review she’d been charged.

Kathleen Brownell, 25, said she had no idea she’d been charged.

“I am very upset that my myspace (account) is linked on your website, and I’m getting threats because of it,” Brownell said. “You’ve linked it on your website...and I’ve got several death threats because of it. It’s very upsetting.”

Brownell read the story in last Friday’s edition of The Review, but said she hasn’t been told by police or Crown counsel that she’s been charged.

“I’m finding out I’m charged in the newspaper? No one’s talked to me. No one’s called me.”

She’s received six threats of injury or death either through her personal e-mail account, or via her account.

“I was called and told they were looking for me, and I turned myself in,” Brownell said of her arrest by the Integrated Riot Investigation Team last March.

On that June 15, 2011 night, Brownell was in Downtown Vancouver, and the last thing she remembers was standing in front of the Bank of Montreal, the presence of police officers, and “a line that was being pushed back and forth.”

“I saw people being escorted through the back, so I went down to try and get escorted through as well. I turned around to look at something, and the next thing I remember is being hit over the back of the head with a club, and being yelled at by a police officer who said ‘You shouldn’t even be here.’”

She said she told the officer she was just trying to go home.

She recalls standing amidst a group of people with their arms crossed, and just silently watching what was transpiring. The next morning, she awoke with a giant lump on her head.

Brownell said she hadn’t been drinking that night, and was by herself.

After being struck over the head, Brownell doesn’t have any more recollection of that night—aside from “small bits and pieces”—and presumes she got home via the SkyTrain.

Asked about her impression of the riot, Brownell said she “felt sick” about the violence against people.

“Everything else, I didn’t know what to think...I was at a loss. I still don’t know what to think.”

The burning, vandalism and looting was something she “doesn’t agree.”

Despite the barrage of media coverage on the days following the riots, Brownell said because she didn’t have cable, she missed almost all of it save for glancing at a couple of newspaper covers, or random images when she’s got WiFi access.

Brownell said she’s not seen any images or videotape showing her doing anything criminal that night.

“I haven’t seen any images of myself doing anything wrong, so I don’t know what to think.”

Asked if she’s planning to file a complaint against police for assaulting her, Brownell said: “I don’t know who did it, and obviously the officers were very stressed too, and they might have thought I was a threat, I have no idea. I don’t have any intention (to pursue a complaint).”

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