Cleveland mayor: come downtown, enjoy yourself

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CLEVELAND - In the wake of Saturday's announcement of the not guilty verdicts in the trial of Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Chief of Police Calvin Williams held a press conference this morning, saying that protestors will be dealt with swiftly if they get out of hand, and that anyone coming downtown can do so without fear of violent protests.

In addressing fears that some people may have about visiting downtown, especially with tonight's Cavaliers playoff game at Quicken Loans Arena, both Jackson and Williams stressed that the protestors have a right to be heard, but that violence against property or people will not be tolerated. The mayor sent this message out: "Come into downtown Cleveland, come into the neighborhoods, enjoy yourself. The protestors have the right to be heard, but if they cross the line we will deal with them accordingly."

Listen to the Mayor's message:

According to the mayor, although the majority of yesterday's protests were peaceful, if at times aggressive, some protestors did cross the line. Chief Williams stated that late yesterday afternoon, at East 4th and Huron, a protestor hit a restaurant patron with a sign. That protestor was arrested, along with three others who tried to interfere with the arrest.

That protest then continued to East 9th and Euclid, where protestors sprayed restaurant patrons with pepper spray. More arrests occurred there.

Bystanders were later attacked at the restaurants and bars on East 4th and Euclid Road. Officers made the decision to disbanded the protests.  However,  most of the protestors refused to leave, resulting in arrests. Later, a confrontation at W 6th and Johnson Court got violent and protestors were also told to leave. When they did not, they were arrested.

In total, police made 71 arrests yesterday, mostly later on in the day and into the evening. Most of those arrested were adults, but there were some juveniles involved too.

CLICK HERE to read Judge O’Donnell’s entire ruling in this case

Continuing coverage of the Michael Brelo trial here

 

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:07 am

The mayor is beginning by thanking the protestors who voiced their opinions peacefully yesterday.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:08 am

Mayor: we will NOT tolerate activities that cross the line. Some protestors crossed the line last night. They were arrested.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:10 am

Chief Williams: Protestors were peaceful, sometimes aggressive. During the early part of the day, protests were peaceful. Things got more aggressive during the afternoon by blocking Route 2. This is extremely dangerous.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:11 am

Chief Williams: Protestors entered Tower City Center later on. They became disruptive and police got them to leave. Tower City businesses closed after this, as a precaution.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:11 am

Williams: We won’t allow violence against property or people.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:12 am

Williams: East 4th and Huron, protestor hit a patron with a sign. He was arrested, along with three others who tried to interfere with the arrest.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:13 am

Williams: Protest continued to East 9th and Euclid, where protestors sprayed patrons with pepper spray.
Bystanders were later attacked at East 4th and Huron Rd. Officers disbanded the protest at this point.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:14 am

Williams: Most of the protestors refused to leave, resulting in arrests. Later, at W 6th and Johnson Ct. more protestors told to leave.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:14 am

Williams: Total of 71 arrests. 39 men, 16 women, some juveniles.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:15 am

Jackson: Protestors did interact with crowd leaving Progressive Field yesterday, but there were no arrests.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:16 am

Williams: Protestors must understand that sports venues are private property and have the right to police their property.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:17 am

Williams: This will be made clear to everyone in regards to this evening’s Cavs game. Downtown venues understand that they can ask for arrests and enforce good behavior on their property.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:18 am

Williams: We have officers with video  cameras and they are using them, as is everyone else.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:21 am

Williams: Arrests range from felonious assault, aggravated rioting, unlawful congregating, failure to disperse, among others.

Ann Domeck May 24, 20159:23 am

Jackson: Some venues did close yesterday, but people still enjoyed themselves downtown at game and restaurants.
Come into downtown Cleveland, come into the neighborhoods, enjoy yourself.
Protestors have the right to be heard, but if they cross the line we will deal with them accordingly.