Cleveland police chief says some violent protesters came in from out of state, have no connection to the city


CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Police Chief Calvin Williams are providing more details on the violent protests in downtown.

Chief Williams said some of the protesters involved in the vandalism and looting were actually from out of state and had no connection to the city.

He said investigators are now working to determine how and why they came here.

Police arrested 65 adults and one juvenile during the protests. Charges include aggravated rioting, vandalism, disorderly conduct and curfew violations.

The fire department responded to two structure fires and 10 vehicle fires, four of which were police cruisers. Other property was also set on fire. 20 people were taken to the hospital and multiple first responders were also injured.

The Ohio National Guard arrived in Cleveland on Sunday to help law enforcement following Saturday night’s violent protests.

The City of Cleveland has also extended the curfew for downtown through 8 p.m. on June 2.

The affected areas have been expanded to include the Market District of Ohio City.

Click here to view the updated Proclamation of Civil Emergency (Civil Unrest) and maps of the affected area.

Those who violate the curfew may be arrested and have their vehicles towed. 

“Yesterday, demonstrations that began peacefully in downtown Cleveland became unlawful with people throwing objects at law enforcement officers and police horses, vandalizing buildings, damaging other property, stealing from small businesses and lighting police cars and businesses on fire. While this may not be indicative of the actions of all protesters, they quickly became dangerous,” officials explained.

Downtown businesses were looted and vandalized, leaving broken glass, graffiti and various destruction across the city Saturday.

Crews were deployed all over the city Sunday to assist with the clean-up. FOX 8’s own Kevin Freeman said city workers and business owners were up early sweeping the streets. Cleveland Clinic Police assisted Cleveland police in their efforts.

“We know Clevelanders are eager to help clean up Downtown. At this time, the City of Cleveland’s dedicated Public Works employees and Downtown Cleveland Alliance ambassadors will handle clean-up,” city officials said in a press release. “For now, we ask residents to stay home for their safety. Cleveland has always been a resilient city and we understand the eagerness to help our neighbors and protect the City we love. But know – we will rebuild together.”

Police Chief Calvin Williams is asking people to avoid the downtown area. He’s encouraging residents to stay in their homes and those who work downtown to take the day off.

The demonstration in downtown Cleveland, in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, began peacefully before escalating Saturday afternoon.

Protesters calmly gathered, giving speeches and holding signs at the Free Stamp. As one group marched to Public Square, another stayed near the Cuyahoga County Justice Center.

Cleveland police said some tried to break windows at the building and officers reported being struck by projectiles. Several vehicles were set on fire including police cruisers. Police gave commands for the crowd to disperse, which were ignored by several demonstrators.

Several businesses including CVS, Colossal Cupcakes, and the Indians Team Shop were broken into. Some businesses were heavily damaged.

**Take a closer look at looting, here**

The chaos got so bad that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, at the request of the City of Cleveland and Cleveland police, activated the National Guard Saturday night to respond to the violent incidents and protect the citizens of Northeast Ohio.

Chief Calvin Williams and Mayor Frank Jackson say the people who caused destruction to the City of Cleveland Saturday night will be brought to justice. Officials are reviewing video to see who caused all of the destruction.

Continuing coverage, here.

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