Attorney General's Office points out problems with current anti-Gang ordinance. In the opinion, it says ordinance definitions for a street gang and gang activity may be found unconstitutionally overbroad. More >>
Yakima, WA - Friday, October 26th
An effort to get tough on gangs takes a hit.
The Washington Attorney General's Office issues an informal opinion that says anti-gang ordinances passed by several cities in the Yakima Valley probably won't hold up in court.
In the opinion, it says ordinance definitions for a street gang and gang activity may be found unconstitutionally overbroad.
And in particular, the definitions for gang activity may be constitutionally suspect.
"The concerns that I had and they aren't my concerns, they are the concerns of our legal department... those concerns have been validated by the report from the A.G. without a doubt in my mind," says Neil McClure of the Yakima City Council.
Mcclure was the only council member to vote against the ordinance that was passed this summer.
He supported an ordinance that was drafted by the city's legal department because it had a better chance to stand up in court.
But the other six council members went with an ordinance passed by Sunnyside because they felt the language was tougher on gangs.
McClure says it could be months before the Yakima City Council can revisit the anti-gang ordinance issue.