RNC: Police balancing free speech and public safety

RNC 2016: Protest underway in Cleveland public square

Our crews in Cleveland report that protesters in the area of 4th Street and Prospect are throwing debris at police officers in the area.


Over 1,000 people have expressed on social media their intent to protest at or near the Republican National Convention this week.

An additional protest by the New Black Panther Party of an unknown headcount has stated their intent to protest stating that they intend to open-carry firearms during the demonstration.


Some planned protests this week in Cleveland include those by Westboro Baptist Church Tuesday; an AntiWar Protest Wednesday; and two week-long protests include Think Outside the Convention and Free Speech Safe Space for Protesters.

Police in the city have been using bicycles to get around near the convention in an effort to be more mobile. Officer also can use their bikes essentially as a fence to block traffic and even contain protesters if they have to.

Security is extremely high near the convention site and 8-foot metal walls are in place keeping entire square miles around key sites for the convention secure.

Police did arrest two women today after police said they climbed flag poles at the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and hung an anti-Trump banner. The banner was removed.

RELATED: Carson, Christie speaking Tuesday at Republican convention

Luke Pumphrey, of Shaker Heights, a pro-peace Vietnam War veteran, is in Cleveland this week protesting war.

“I’m trying to get the idea across that some war veterans are pro-peace,” Pumphrey said. “Basically, I’m trying to serve as a counterpoint to all the red, white and blue, star-spangled fear mongering and war mongering we’re seeing from Trump and his supporters.”

Bill Klein, of Parma, a suburb of Cleveland, said he’s in town to watch all the excitement this week.

“I’m exploring and it seems like everything’s pretty peaceful, the police have things under control with the barricades,” Klein said. “I’m looking forward to hopefully a very peaceful convention.”

“With any right that we’re given there’s a responsibility to owning that right and we have to protect ourselves, protect others,” Klein continued. “You’re always going to have those haymakers who don’t necessarily appreciate what others have to say. You need the police presence to protect the greater good.”

RELATED: DeWine on Trump: Become more inclusive to earn presidency

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