Tags: cleveland | protests | republican convention | flag burning | arrests

Cleveland Protests at RNC Include Flag Burning, Result in 18 Arrests

Image: Cleveland Protests at RNC Include Flag Burning, Result in 18 Arrests
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By    |   Thursday, 21 Jul 2016 09:50 AM

Cleveland protests led to 18 arrests Wednesday after demonstrators trying to burn an American flag got in a scuffle with police near the entrance to the arena where the Republican National Convention is taking place.

Two were charged with felonious assault on an officer, and 15 were charged with a misdemeanor offense of inciting violence, Reuters reported. Police didn't say what the remaining protester was charged with.

Two police officers received "minor bumps, bruises" during the scuffle, and some of the protesters' pants caught on fire, said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.

Wednesday's arrests brought the total number of arrests during the convention to 23.

"There are people that their only reason for being here is disruption, disorder, chaos, hurting people and damaging property," Williams said. "Those are the only people at this point that are giving us any kind of trouble at all."

About 200 officers from various agencies converged on the scene Wednesday, CNN reported.

The Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild released a statement criticizing the police action, saying they are "highly concerned about these arrests and the escalation of police tactics against peaceful demonstrators."

CBS News called Wednesday's flag burning "the most turbulent protest" and noted that police used pepper spray during the incident.

Lawyers for those arrested also opposed the action, noting that Gregory Lee "Joey" Johnson, who lit the flag Wednesday, won a 1989 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that flag burning is protected speech, Cleveland.com reported.

The Revolutionary Communist Party organized the flag burning, calling it a "political statement about the crimes of the American empire. There's nothing great about America," The Associated Press reported, citing activist Carl Dix.

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Cleveland protests led to 18 arrests Wednesday after demonstrators trying to burn an American flag got in a scuffle with police near the entrance to the arena where the Republican National Convention is taking place.
cleveland, protests, republican convention, flag burning, arrests
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2016-50-21
Thursday, 21 Jul 2016 09:50 AM
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