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A must-watch video right now

By Todd Franko (Contact)

Published July 14, 2010

Untitled document

Life in a city courthouse is ripe for a reality TV program, and it showed no better than today in Youngstown Municipal Court when families on opposite sides of a teen-age murder met in the hallway.

Click here to watch the raw, unedited footage.

Veteran Vindicator photographer Bob Yosay was in the middle of the Wednesday morning melee. The video and still images you see on our site are both from Bob — one hand running video, the other hand clicking photos.

According to Yosay, here’s how the scene played out:

The incident happened after a bond hearing for Melvin Shaw II, 18, who is charged with the murder of Tracee Banks, 17, and the attempted murder of Jamel Turner, 18.

In the tiny courtroom, all was quiet as 25 people from both sides of the incident packed the tiny room. Shaw was appearing via video from the county jail.

Afterward, media members were in the hallway asking if family members wished to talk. No one was interested.

The public exits down a long hallway toward the elevators.

From that area came the noise of a scuffle and yells of “We need police. We need police.”

Yosay said about 10 to 12 police officers arrived in the course of a minute or two, and various city workers are also seen trying to manage the scene. The municipal court is separate, but adjacent to police headquarters.

At the start of Yosay’s video, there’s an image of a man with an arm around his neck being dragged into an office. That is Banks’ father, who was part of the initial scuffle. He was pulled into the clerk of courts office and can be seen later composing himself at a counter in that office.

Not seen in the video is the man he was scuffling with, Wade Shaw, of unknown relation to Melvin. He was on the ground in the area behind the “exit” door after a Taser was applied to him. He was charged with three crimes from the incident.

Yosay said in all his years doing this work, it was the craziest scene he’d witnessed.

The area in question has long been cited by municipal court judges Elizabeth A. Kobly, Robert A. Douglas Jr., and Robert P. Milich as a security concern.

There’s pretty good proof here. Vindy staffers said as bad as the office configuration is, it’s a miracle this type of skirmish does not happen more often.


1sknirak(120 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

At first sight, it might seem that our civilization is breaking down. That scene in the courthouse appears to be the proof. Yet, in colonial times, such events did occur at a magistrate's office, necessitating the sheriff''s intervention.

But the major difference between this recent scene and the colonial one was this: In those days, people were scarce. There was a premium put on life.
Today, we live in a "culture of death", which has been identified and decried by many religious leaders of all faiths. We glamorize the "macho" killer hero whether he/she does this legally or not. Look at the gory movies made since the 1970's. The problem is difficult to solve, because it is a moral, ethical problem. In today's society, we can't "impose" our morality on anyone, so amorality wins by default.

It's taken close to a half-century, but we are going to "reap the whirlwind". God help us!

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2burford(95 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Lost in the mayhem is the fact that city hall is a dump, the municipal court is a dump and so is the police department.

Youngstown is still the largest city in the valley but it is the only government entity that does not have a fairly modern building.

It is patently unfair for the police who have a tough enough job to work under those conditions. It is unfair to the public to do business there and for the other employees to work there.

With the billions of stimulus money and 2 congressmen in our area you would think Youngstown could get $20,000,000, chump change to Obama, to build a new city hall, court and police station.

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3Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Human behavior is influenced by positive and negative reinforcement. It is consequence driven.

This degree of violence, drug addiction, and broken families is a direct result of government policies of encouraging sloth and punishing productivity. There does not need to be this degree of suffering.

I am making a general statement. I do not know the specifics of those involved in this case.

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