The Crown has decided not to lay any criminal charges against members of the Vancouver Police Department stemming from the riot at GM Place last November. The riot followed the cancellation of a Guns N' Roses concert.

There are complaints police used excessive force at the riot.

Last month, two men, who were beaten by police during the incident, announced they were suing the city, the police and Constable Reg Forster.

Robert Parent, 41, lost six teeth in the attack

Detlef Schroeder, 52, who was at the concert with his daughter, was attacked by police and struck with batons as he left GM place.

Crown spokesperson Geoffrey Gaul says there is no substantial likelihood any of the officers involved in the violence would have been convicted.

"One has to look at the entire event," he says. "All of the things that took place that evening, and not just snippets in time, prior to coming to a conclusion."

Crown's decision 'reasonable', say police

Vancouver's Deputy Chief Gary Greer says it was a riot situation and it was hard for officers to determine who was a spectator and who was a rioter.

He describes the actions of Constable Reg Forster – who hit two people as they tried to leave the scene – as an appropriate level of force.

He says the officers involved had difficulty determining who were rioters and who were spectators.

"People that stay in the area of a riot while the police are being assaulted are not considered mere spectators," he says. "Because of their continued presence they lend leigitimacy and support to those involved in the riotous behaviour and are perceived as reasonable threats."

Rankin outraged by Crown decision

The lawyer for Parent and Schroeder, Phil Rankin, says the Crown and police have sent a message that people should avoid any large gatherings if they want to ensure their safety.

Rankin says its clear police cannot differentiate between trouble makers and passersby in a riot situation.