I-TEAM: How much the downtown riots cost taxpayers, plus new video showing chaos

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has uncovered exclusive new video from last month’s riot downtown.

We’ve also learned the cost in City of Cleveland tax dollars will top three million bucks.

And that only covers the cost for police and emergency crews and clean-up crews.

Meantime, the new video shows how rioters swarmed into the heart of downtown destroying businesses and terrorizing innocent people. You see Euclid Avenue was virtually empty and then crowds of people suddenly scrambled there and gathered around East 4th.

Rioters then began breaking windows and looting.

The I-TEAM investigated the cost for city staffing and overtime from the weekend of the rioting. The initial breakdown from the city looks like this: $2.9 million for police. $40,000 for the fire department, $55,000 for the streets department and $8,000 for EMS to handle medical calls.

“That’s a lot of money,” said activist Fay Harris.

 Harris works year round to make the city a better place. Now, she’s left stunned to hear the cost to every taxpayer for the chaos after a police protest that began in peace.

“I think that money could’ve been used maybe for some programming, social service programming maybe for some of the impoverished neighborhoods with the children. As well as maybe having more police protection in certain neighborhoods,” she said.

The new video shows more and more people scrambling to get to the heart of the action with the rioting and looting. 911 calls show the fear of innocent people.

One caller described the crowd for police by saying, “I would say about two-three hundred and  people, and they are throwing bricks.”

“I believe shots were just fired in our store,” said another caller.

The video shows long periods of time with no police officers in sight. And it gives us another look at what it took to end the madness and take back the streets.

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