I-TEAM: How Cleveland is preparing for protesters ahead of the Presidential Debate

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Governor Mike DeWine now says he will send the National Guard to Cleveland next week to help with security for the first presidential debate, and the I- TEAM has uncovered what else you can expect in the streets.

DeWine says City Hall made a formal request for the National Guard and he granted it to help with “back-up,” which he calls “important.”

Back in May, a peaceful protest in Cleveland erupted into hours of rioting and looting.

And this week, we’ve seen outrage in the streets nationwide in light of the decision of no charges for the police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.

So now, new concern over security surrounding the debate.

The local chapter of Black Lives Matter predicts hundreds of protestors will take to Cleveland streets, and that doesn’t account for people traveling here from around the country.

Kareem Henton predicts a “large coalition of folks gathering locally.” He says not gathering for trouble, but to send a message to President Trump.

“To let them know that we are unpleased and that we are going to vote him out of office along with everyone who supports him,” he added.

Cleveland police are teaming up with state and federal agents for security, which now also includes the National Guard.

At the justice center, the I-TEAM found the court system has been preparing. Getting ready to handle a sudden flood of criminal cases if there’s big trouble in the streets and police make what they call mass arrests.

We’ve learned there’s even been talk of setting up a big tent at a city park to temporarily handle a large group of people arrested.

You can also expect in the crowd civil rights attorney Paul Cristallo.

He supports police going after troublemakers breaking the law. But, he plans to be watching to make sure peaceful protestors are treated fairly.

“I’m probably going to do the same thing I did at the May 30 protest,” said Cristallo.

“You don’t want to see people getting arrested when they shouldn’t be arrested. You don’t want to see individuals exercising their first amendment rights to find themselves behind bars,” he added.

So many people are planning for trouble while hoping they don’t see any.

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