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Security Beefed Up at GOP Convention

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Rep. McClintock (AP)

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Monday, 18 Jul 2016 08:26 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Heightened speculation over possible violence this week at the GOP convention focused fresh attention on security.

Hours after reports of the shooting in Baton Rouge, La., took the lives of three police officers and wounded three others, the air was charged at the site of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.  “It’s very scary after Baton Rouge this morning and Dallas [where five policemen were killed] on Friday,” officer John Quintero of the California Highway Patrol, who is assisting the Ohio State Patrol with convention security, told me on Sunday.

Overall, an estimated 2,700 police officers from 15 states have flown into Cleveland as part of the Special Response Team that is maintaining security as Republicans prepare to nominate Trump.

“We’re trying to protect the freedom of speech of demonstrators and make sure they have a safe way to demonstrate,” said Quintero, adding that he and his fellow law enforcement officers would also guarantee the safety of those not demonstrating.

Nearly 300 marchers from groups calling themselves “revolutionary” and demanding an “overthrow of the [American] system” were already parading under the careful eye of law enforcement officers.

Quintero and his fellow officers freely admitted that the most difficult task for them during convention duty was dealing with Ohio’s “open carry law,” which permits gun owners to openly carry their firearms.

Some of the delegates arriving on Sunday told me they felt safer in Cleveland because they knew that citizens would have guns. “We know the bad guys will be able to get guns  no matter what the law is, so it is nice to know the good guys will have guns,” Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., told me on Sunday.  

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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Heightened speculation over possible violence this week at the GOP convention focused fresh attention on security.
gop, convention, cleveland
291
2016-26-18
Monday, 18 Jul 2016 08:26 AM
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