Monday, January 14, 2007 the Vindicator, reported that a Poland Man looking for female companionship ended up being shot in the stomach over the weekend. Police said that they were called to the parking lot of the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority on Woodcrest Avenue at 7:20 p.m. Saturday for reports of gunfire. They found a 66 year old Poland man bleeding. He claimed to have been shot by a woman. When the police questioned the man after he was treated at St. Elizabeth Health Center , he told them that he was driving through Youngstown looking for female companionship when he met two black females named Ashley and Tiara. The women told him to pull into a parking lot. The women punched the man and took his wallet. The man said he ran and heard three shots. He went to a nearby apartment for help after realizing that he had been shot. Another man who lives nearby was arrested on charges of obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. Police said that Raymond Gordon of Woodcrest Avenue was seen near the victim's car when police arrived. An officer attempted to question Gordon, but Gordan starting yelling at police and eventually ran off. Gordon was identified by a resident who lives nearby. The resident said that Gordon came outside only after the shots were fired. Gordon returned a short time later and was arrested by police. Police said he was combative and they had to use pepper spray to subdue him.
Okay folks, what is wrong with this picture? Let's start with the fact that the Poland man doesn't have a proper name. His name is nowhere mentioned in the article, we don't know his address, although we are told that he is 66 years old. We know the names of "the girls from the hood" as they are portrayed, their names are Ashley and Tiara, and we now know the name of Raymond Gordon, neighborhood resident. We know Raymond's home address, his age, and we also know that:
1. Mr. Gordon was curious about the gunshots that he heard and went outside to investigate
2. He doesn't like the police which is why he didn't want to answer their questions and therefore he ran away.
3. That he is known by his neighbors and that they said he didn't go outside prior to the gunshots.
4. We now know that Mr. Gordon has not heard the old adage, "curiosity killed the cat" because after he ran away, he then went back to the scene.
5. This according to the police makes Mr. Gordon guilty of obstruction of justice.
6. When Mr. Gordon didn't agree with their assessment, he got angry. The police also charged him with resisting arrest.
Section 525.08 of the Youngstown Municipal Code addresses Obstruction of Justice.
(a) No person, with purpose to hinder the discovery, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another for a misdemeanor...shall do any of the following:
(1) Harbor or conceal the other person or child;
(2) Provide the other person or child with money, transportation, a weapon, a disguise, or other means of avoiding discovery or apprehension.
(3) Warn the other person or child of impending discovery or apprehension;
(4) Destroy or conceal physical evidence of the misdemeanor, or act, or induce any person to withhold testimony or information or to elude legal process summoning the person to testify or supply evidence;
(5) Communicate false information to any person
(6) Prevent or obstruct any person by means of force intimation or deception from performing any act to aid in the discovery or deception , from performing any act to aid the discovery, apprehension or prosecution of the other person or child.
So, of course we can see from the above code that perhaps Mr. Gordon may have, by means of intimidation, prevented the officers from performing the act of aiding in the discovery, apprehension or prosecution of the other person or child. However, whether he did so with purpose which is defined as, "intended", is open to question. Perhaps the officers at the scene were not aware of Youngstown Municipal Ordinance 525.07 Obstructing Official Business, or 509.05 Misconduct at an Emergency. This code states that, No person shall knowingly do any of the following: (3) fail to obey the lawful order of any law enforcement officer engaged in the law enforcement officer's duties at the scene of or in connection with a fire, accident, disaster, riot, or emergency of any kind. The legal definition of "emergency" is a sudden, unforeseeable happening which requires action to correct.
In any case the crime is a misdemeanor, as is "Solicitation". However, if you are a man from Poland, you're not soliciting, you're looking for "female companionship". Note that the article does not make mention of the fact that the man from Poland was engaged in a crime called Solicitation, nor is any mention made that he was charged with that crime. My question is WHY? I have known of many persons who have been charged with a crime while in the hospital. The fact that the Poland Man was harmed should not have prevented this, and most likely would not been prevented had he been working class, poor, black or Hispanic.
Section 533.09 of Youngstown Municipal Ordinances states:
"(a) No person shall solicit another to engage with such other person in sexual activity for hire.(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of soliciting, a misdemeanor of the third degree for the first offense. For the second and subsequent offenses such person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(c) If a person is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of any provision of this section or an attempt to commit a violation of any provision of this section, and if the person, in committing or attempting to commit the violation, was in, was on, or used a motor vehicle, the court in addition to or independent of all other penalties imposed for the violation shall impose upon the offender a class six suspension of the person's driver's license..."
WHY INDEED? PRIVILEGE
What is privilege? Privilege is about how society accommodates you. It's about advantages you have that you think are normal. Privilege is pervasive and largely invisible to those who have it. Peggy McIntosh in White Privilege- Unpacking the Knapsack, states, "Whites are taught not to recognize white privilege as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. White privilege is like a invisible knapsack of special provisions; maps, passports, code books,visas, clothes, tools and blank checks." This article clearly portrays the level of white privilege, class privilege, and male privilege that goes unchecked in our area. More than likely had Mr. Poland Man been from Youngstown, and of a lower economic status, he would have been charged with solicitation, although the fact that he is male may still have prevented his name from being placed in the paper . This would be due to the double standard and the fact that sexism is unfortunately still with us. Never mind the fact that Mr. Poland Man's story doesn't hold water. Purely speculation on my part, but when was the last time someone got shot in the stomach while they were running away from the perp. What, was he running backward? How about he was trying to rip off the prostitutes and they got mad? Perhaps too, Mr. Gordon wasn't such an innocent either, perhaps he was their pimp, but in any case, the neighbors said he was not outside at the time of the shooting. I'm sorry that Mr. Poland Man was hurt, I truly am, but why does that prevent him from having his license taken away? I'm also sorry that the headline of the article could lead someone just skimming the paper to believe, "oh my, yet another shooting in Youngstown" never mind that Mr. Poland Man contributed to the incident. Hmm, now that is some food for thought.
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