Video and article about vigilante justice receives swift backlash

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A video posted to YouTube yesterday and an article recently published to draw attention to it is being viewed as promotion of vigilante justice against substance abusers referred to as “Junkies” in the City. Both are receiving quick condemnation by many organizations and members of the Community.

Lisa Foggia is the mother of Tia, who last year lost her daughter Tia to substance abuse.

“That article is so upsetting. How people can treat each other this way is abhorrent,” said Foggia.

Foggia is also a member of CHAAT, a group designed to bring a voice to the community in regards to these issues.

“It is societal stigma once again, dehumanizing people and justifying the use of violence,” she continued. “This will do nothing but cause immediate gratification for people who do not understand addiction as a disease. Not condoning behaviours such as theft and such, but we need to treat individual for the root causes of addiction instead of putting a band-aid on it.”

Foggia’s perspective is met equally by Addictions and Mental Health Advocates Founder Donna DeSimon.

“A one man vigilante is not going to fix any problems that this City faces,” said DeSimon. “In fact the judgement and stigma displayed on these videos only exacerbates the dangers that all substance users face because the actions of some.”

DeSimon’s organization is planning a protest next Monday in front of City Hall in hopes of shining a peaceful light on the ongoing opioid crisis in Sault Ste. Marie.

We have reached out to SOYA founder Connie Raynor-Elliott and Mayor Provenzano for comments, but both were unavailable to do so at the time of publication. We will add them if they are made available.

Stay with SaultOnline/ONNtv as we continue to cover the ongoing epidemic which is addictions in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.

17 COMMENTS

  1. I saw the video where he took back the bike. Notice how short of breath he became when he took the bike back…that’s fear in his voice, nothing heroic about it. In another video, he yells at so called “junkies” for what reason? Looks like we have a “Walter Mitty” roaming our streets, and I hope he doesn’t get hurt trying to impress himself

  2. He sometimes knows things are stolen, he often assumes they are and hassles innocent people he thinks look like junkies. I’ve been told he has bragged about beating some people up. He’s not the hero he’s trying to portray and a lot of women in this city can likely verify that.

  3. I hope the press continues to pressure for comments from the mayor and our alderman. And what about our two MPS .. Ross Romano and Terry Sheehan.. all of them been so quiet about anything ..

  4. How did he even know that bike didn’t belong to that man ? That is the issue I have with vigilantes…. they sometimes hassle regular people, or people they feel don’t ‘look right’.

  5. I can understand the mayor not responding. He looked a fool when W5 aired Steel Town Down and I’m quite sure he’s taking some heat for his plaza push when the money can better spent on our current issues.

  6. cool, it’s just like batman, except without the cool suit, powers, or money. on second thought, nothing at all like batman, just more SSM trailer trash with macho power fantasies

    why don’t you losers make like any other self-respecting sociopath and barely scrape through your GED before becoming cops?

    STEVE

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