Protestors stop traffic around downtown Cleveland during rush hour

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CLEVELAND-  Dozens marched through downtown on Friday after police said they were expecting large crowds.

Police recommended people leave downtown Cleveland early to avoid traffic problems.

About 50 to 60 people marched from Public Square to the Cuyahoga County Justice Center, where they placed flowers in front of the building. The protestors held signs reading "Black lives matter" and chanted "Hands up, don't shoot."

"Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail," protestors yelled while walking down Lakeside Avenue.

“The Division of Police recognizes an individual’s right to demonstrate and reminds those who intend to demonstrate that they must do so in a civil manner and in way that those does not violate laws or inconvenience or harm others," the police department said in a statement prior to the demonstration.

The group temporarily blocked the Detroit Superior Bridge, prompting Cleveland police to advise drivers to find alternate routes. During the protest, they made stops at Quicken Loans Arena and Playhouse Square.

This is the latest in a series of recent protests in downtown Cleveland. On Thursday, about 30 people gathered on Public Square while protesting the decision not to indict a New York City officer who killed a man by placing him in a chokehold. The group said they planned to return at 3 p.m. Friday.

Last week, a large group marched from Public Square to the Shoreway, where they stopped traffic during rush hour. That protest was in response a grand jury’s opinion not to pursue criminal charges against a Ferguson officer in the death of Michael Brown. Demonstrators were also angry after a Cleveland police officer shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice outside a rec center.

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:13 pm

Protestors are laying down in the middle of the road, closing the Detroit Superior Bridge after marching from the Cuyahoga County Justice Center. They had a moment of silence before resuming their chant.

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:16 pm

Cleveland police have now sent out an advisory that the Detroit Superior Bridge is block. They urge drivers to use alternate routes.

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:19 pm

The demonstrators are back on the move. They are repeatedly chanting: “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:22 pm

The protestors are now walking along the back of Tower City on West Huron Road. “No justice, no peace. No racist police.”

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:26 pm

Nearing Quicken Loans Arena, the chant changes: “Hey hey ho ho, these killer cops have got to go.” “CPD, what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?”

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:27 pm

Cleveland police says the Detroit Superior Bridge is now
open, adding to consider alternate routes with protestors moving south on Huron
towards Ontario.

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:32 pm

The protestors are standing in front of the LeBron James, man with megaphone says the St. Louis Rams can’t do it alone. “There’s not a sports star in this country, in this world that has more power than this group.”

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:42 pm

The group is now in front of The 9, at Euclid and East 9th. They are blocking the intersection.

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:44 pm

Correction, they’re at East 9th and Prospect. Alternating between “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “I can’t breathe.”

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:49 pm

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams is monitoring the situation on the scene. Police are allowing the protestors to block streets.

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:53 pm

Protest now at Playhouse Square, approaching the chandelier.

Jen Steer December 5, 20144:57 pm

The group is laying down directly under the GE chandelier at East 14th Street and Euclid. “No justice, no peace.” Officers are stopping traffic for the protestors.

Jen Steer December 5, 20145:01 pm

Police Chief Williams had no comment about the protests, didn’t have anything to say about permits.

Jen Steer December 5, 20145:06 pm

Members of Puncture the Silence and some Oberlin College students are part of the demonstration. “All lives matter. All lives matter.”

Jen Steer December 5, 20145:12 pm

The group is walking down Euclid towards East 4th Street, blocking eastbound traffic.

Jen Steer December 5, 20145:19 pm

Protestors forming at circle at Ontario and Superior on Public Square

Jen Steer December 5, 20145:28 pm

It’s now dark on Public Square, where demonstrators are sitting in the street. Cop cars are blocking traffic to allow the protest to continue.