Cleveland Police Say they're Prepared for Open Carrying Members of the New Black Panthers and Others

Jul 13, 2016

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says city will follow state law allowing open carry.

Cleveland police are prepared to handle members of the New Black Panthers Party who say they will be in town this week carrying guns to protect protesters. The group plans to be at “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations leading up to next week’s Republican National Convention.

Police Chief Calvin Williams repeated that the city will abide by state law that allows open carry, but says there are limits to what is allowed.

“You can’t threaten a person with that weapon, you can’t brandish that weapon, you can’t point it at people. ... Just because you carry openly doesn’t mean you can pull that weapon out or show that weapon or brandish that weapon. And we’ll make sure people stay within the parameter."

Williams says the Cleveland police have peacefully dealt with open carry demonstrations in the past, so this will not be a new experience. He adds that while open carry is the law, he prefers that people don’t bring guns to big events.