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Lethbridge Citizens Alliance condemns supervised consumption site paintball shooting

Police in southern Alberta are investigating a disturbing incident where they say someone drove past a supervised drug consumption facility and fired paintballs at staff and clients. Police have released this still image taken from surveillance video of a white, newer model Dodge quad cab which was seen driving around the facility.
Police in southern Alberta are investigating a disturbing incident where they say someone drove past a supervised drug consumption facility and fired paintballs at staff and clients. Police have released this still image taken from surveillance video of a white, newer model Dodge quad cab which was seen driving around the facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Lethbridge Police Service

The drive-by paintball shooting at ARCHES supervised consumption site in Lethbridge over the weekend has prompted a local group to send its own message condemning acts of violence against the site.

The Lethbridge Citizens Alliance issued a release Tuesday morning expressing the group’s concern over the assault while commending law enforcement for their quick and thorough response.

READ MORE: Lethbridge man accused of firing paintballs outside supervised consumption site seeks lawyer

LCA president Lou Mate said the group has come together due to concerns over the consumption site, saying that members do not support any violence against the staff or clients.

“This is a result of tensions boiling over,” Mate said.

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“The community has had to pull together to deal with issues caused by the consumption site. We know there is a problem with drug dealers preying on people who are in bad circumstances. We do not agree with any form of violence against those people. We want to help them. Anyone who engages in violence like this does not represent the views of our group.”

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READ MORE: Rallies held ahead of motion on the future of Lethbridge’s supervised consumption site

Mate said the group is growing quickly, partly because of neighbourhood crime around the Lethbridge area that many are attributing to the supervised consumption site.

“We are spending our time and resources talking to city council, talking to the province, talking to law enforcement, forming neighbourhood committees so that we can locate the drug houses and get these people off the streets,” Mate said.

LCA promotes a four-pillar model of prevention, enforcement, harm reduction and treatment to address the opioid crisis in the area.

Mate said the group disagrees with how the city is providing harm prevention and has been pushing to share community voices in the conversations around the drug crisis.