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Cleveland Police Say RNC Protests are Under Control So Far

photo of police officers in Public Square
MARK URYCKI
/
WCPN

Despite a wide spectrum of political viewpoints among convention protesters this week, police have made only a handful of arrests, and they were mostly minor offenses. 

The biggest scuffle so far was at Public Square yesterday with communists, conservative radio host Alex Jones, Bikers for Trump, and the Westboro Baptist Church all on hand.   

One man lunged at another and Police Chief Calvin Williams was caught in the middle and nearly went down according to Police spokesman Jennifer Ciaccia.

“Some people were reporting that he was pushed.  He was actually not pushed. He had a male approach him trying to get to someone very close to the chief. So he actually separated those two.  He’s fine," she said.

Ciaccia says the chief is out on the streets because he’s very “hands on.”

“It means he went out there because he wanted to get a feel for what is going on the field,” she said. 

Officers charged into the scene and took over the square but no one was arrested.  And that’s been the system so far this week.  Police have been overlooking all manner of violations as long as no person or property is hurt.  

“We’re trying to work with people and that’s been our posture all along,” Ciaccia said. 

It doesn’t hurt to have thousands of officers from coast to coast to help out. They’ve been able to nearly surround any group that takes to the streets,  with police radio alerts crackling about any armed or suspicious person.

Officials say acts of civil disobedience like lying down on the street will be handled on case by case basis.