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Youngstown council endorses opposition to 'Stand Your Ground'

Published: Thu, September 19, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.


By David Skolnick



City council voted to support a resolution that opposes a proposed Stand Your Ground law in Ohio and a congressional bill for national reciprocity for concealed-carry handgun permits.

The Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, a local community group that advocates for issues related to racial, social and economic justice, had urged council to support the resolution.

Council unanimously voted 7-0 Wednesday in support.

“Current state laws give homeowners more than enough protection,” said Councilman Nate Pinkard, D-3rd, chairman of council’s safety committee and a retired Mill Creek Metro-Parks police chief.

Youngstown is the latest in the state to pass similar resolutions against this resolution joining Cincinnati, Toledo, Dayton and South Euclid.

MVOC organizer Allan Irizarry-Graves said after the vote the proposed state bill to expand Stand Your Ground targets “young minority males” such as him.

“If I’m walking around my neighborhood on the North Side and someone sees me and feels threatened, they can shoot as they please,” said Irizarry-Graves, who is black.

The issue comes after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in July of second-degree murder and manslaughter during a high-profile case in Florida that raised questions about that state’s Stand Your Ground law.

The law permits people to use deadly force when they believe there is a perceived threat.

Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old black male, on Feb. 26, 2012, contending he felt threatened. His defense didn’t use the law in winning his acquittal, however.

The Ohio Legislature is considering a bill to expand situations that would permit people to use deadly force.

“There’s enough gun violence every day,” and there’s no need to expand the law, Pinkard said.

In other matters, council failed to approve legislation by emergency measure to authorize the administration to seek proposals from firms to redistrict the city’s seven wards.

The vote was 5-2 in favor of the proposal. But for legislation to be approved by an emergency vote, at least six members of council must support it.

The two no votes came from Councilmen Mike Ray, D-4th, and Paul Drennen, D-5th, who said they were satisfied with the redistricting maps provided by Youngstown State University’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies.

Council will need to take three votes at three separate meetings to approve the legislation.


1Knightcap(693 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Youngstown is one of the safest cities in the country. Don't need SYG here. It would only hurt our tourism business and enrollment at YSU would go down.

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2Southside_Res(170 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I love people who make arguments when there is no correlation whatsoever between "stand your ground" legislation and a reduction in tourism. Forget how it would affect YSU enrollment. Honestly, where do people come up with this crap?!

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3ytownsteelman(627 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Southside Res, I believe that Knightcap was being sarcastic. Have another cup of coffee. You must still be asleep.

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4hmm(179 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

That's ok I'm still standing my ground .... self defense IS self defense. and we in Ohio have the castle doctrine.... it's funny that NO Major abuses of stand your ground in Florida and it wasn't even used by the Defense yet it's an issue Nationally.

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5zz3(931 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Knightcap I hope your being sarcastic for sure or you are in need of severe rehab!! LOL! The people who don't want it are the ones who someone they know may suffer from it. It's time we give the cockroaches something to think about when they launch their crime career!! Sad part is that that might give them more time to make more baby mamma's

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6excel(280 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Guns on the streets are the problem and not the answer!


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7Jive_Turkey(32 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

This media-driven fear is getting out of hand.

You hear one story over the course of a year where a teenager is killed, and we don't know the facts, and all of a sudden anyone who carries a firearm is considered dangerous? (In reference to G.Z.... But nobody heard about the 3 black teens illegally carrying a firearm who gunned down a white teenager while he was jogging around the block http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/... )

Here's an idea. Instead of creating new laws time and time again, start enforcing the current laws you have in place. It would be much more efficient and undoubtedly more effective at curbing these brazen acts of violence.

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8123goz(558 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

"Let the thugs win for 500, Alex"
Criminals and Y-town council.

What segment of society is against self defense, castle doctrine or a police chase?

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9gdog4766(1468 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

It's not the law it's ignorant people's lack of understanding it. Just recently in Florida a man got into a verbal argument with three men next door. He took his pistol, snuck up on them and opened fire. He killed two and shot the third one multiple times. His attorney is arguing that when they verbally threatened him it gave him the right to go onto their property and shoot them. This ignorance of the law is the problem. I even know a guy who says if you see someone walking thru your yard, that under Ohio law you can legally shoot them dead. No provocation is needed, he has stated.

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10NSYtownGuy(7 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Current state law says that use of deadly force is a last resort. If you have an opportunity to flee, you have to do so. This isn't about home owners. This is about walking in public, and someone attacks you. Stand your ground, would allow you to stand and fight. You have the right to be there and were not looking for trouble so you have the right to defend yourself. It amazes me how people can run out and support something without knowing anything about it.

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