Thursday, December 1, 2022

Lethbridge Police warning against vigilante justice concerning SCS

A drive-by paintball shooting outside the Lethbridge Supervised Consumption Site (SCS) this past weekend has police cautioning the public not to take matters into their own hands.

Sergeant Ryan Darroch with the LPS Downtown Policing Unit says the SCS has been a very polarizing issue. “The last thing we want is any vigilante action as nothing positive can come from that as we’ve seen from this event. We don’t need people getting into more trouble just because of their personal feelings.”

29 year old Jesse Bulman of Lethbridge is facing charges following the incident early Saturday morning. One person was hit several times by paintballs, while others were narrowly missed. He is scheduled to appear in a Lethbridge courtroom on Tuesday (Aug. 27).

As for the motive behind the paintball shooting, Darroch says he will let that play out in the courts. “There are a lot of issues that (allegedly) brought him to make that choice. Those are issues which have kind of polarized this whole issue and people are quite passionate all across our city. People are frustrated and that’s why we’re cautioning people to not take action into their own hands.”

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When police arrested Bulman on Sunday, officers also seized a paintball gun allegedly used in the incident.

An SCS staff member was hit several times with paintballs early Saturday morning while some clients were narrowly missed. LPS say a white truck drove by the SCS and sprayed a number of paintball at multiple people outside.

Darroch was asked about the number of negative comments made on social media concerning the Supervised Consumption Site as the issue continues to be front and centre. He says the LPS are not the Facebook police. “What people choose to say online is their freedom of expression. We caution them that there is a line and once you step over that line we might start another investigation. To be very honest we (police) are busy enough I’d rather not venture spending my time investigating Facebook when we have other more serious matters across our city we deal with.”

Darroch stresses LPS do not promote any type of hate or negative comments from any group or person against anyone.

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