LIVE BLOG: Curfew lifted for businesses in downtown Cleveland

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10 p.m. Update

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Wednesday marked a new start for several businesses who opened for the first time since a riot began in downtown Cleveland Saturday following a protest for George Floyd.

“Moving forward the city leaders need to give the business owners some hope as well as some security like they’re going to take care of us,” Dominic Fanelli, owner of Chocolate Bar, told FOX 8’s Maia Belay.

His business was vandalized. Shards of glass from several windows remained on the floor inside. Fanelli says he’s not sure when he will reopen.

Just next door at Cathy’s Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches there is no visible damage. The manager credits protesters for saving the business from looters.

“One of the protesters that were going past actually formed like a human barrier around our store to stop the looting coming to our business,” said Jessica Prewitt. “I was told there are a other businesses similar to us that actually stopped them from getting looted also.”

City officials lifted a curfew for business activity through June 5 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. The curfew resumes for the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“This is going to be a major setback for all business down here about when to open as well as when patrons are going to feel comfortable to come back downtown,” said Fanelli.

Although many business remain closed, some people who live and work downtown say they’re not afraid to be there.

 “This is a definite cause and effect right it’s people being frustrated and unheard and wanting control over their own lives that’s exactly what this is,” said Justin Schlosser with his children about the protest. 

Click here for the latest curfew information.

8:30 p.m. Update

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Rev. E. Theophilus Caviness of the Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church has seen a lot of fights for social justice in his 92 years of life. 

“It comes to me that the more things change, the more they remain the same,” he shared with FOX 8’s Alex Stokes.

He says the most recent, over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, echoes the sparks that ignited the Hough Riots he witnessed in 1966 Cleveland.

“There were all kinds of injustices being perpetrated against people of color. Police brutality, racism, property,” Caviness said.

In July, the powder keg exploded. 

“There was a mad push for justice and equality and in the efforts of trying to do that, then we had the riots and that was detrimental to the welfare I think the totality of our community.”

Two years later, the Glenville Riots erupted from racial tension as the country was reeling from the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidential Candidate Robert Kennedy.

“People wanted peace but peace without equality and justice becomes an empty void,” said Caviness, much like today. “Here we were in that kind of atmosphere and it seems today we’re replicating the same situation.”

The current pandemic, Caviness says magnifying Floyd’s death around the world. “By this COVID 19 incarcerating us and keeping us at home, people were able to view an outright murder that was perpetrated against Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis.”

He recognized the anger people felt at the delay in arresting the four police officers involved. 

“The lack of indicting them or the lack of arresting them. Look my eyes did not lie to me. I saw that all of us saw that,” Caviness explained.

Like during the Hough and Glenville Riots, Caviness says the destruction across the country today is detrimental. 

“Violence begets violence and there’s no way in the world that we’re going to achieve justice and equality by exhibiting violence.”

Caviness says Dr. King would be decimated to see the looting and destruction but uplifted by the voices speaking out. “I think he would be more encouraged for the white people who have begun to understand the pain and compassion that needs to be given.”

He says there is hope. “My aspiration for all young people is to understand that education is the key. That that little matter between your two ears is the way for you to go in order to improve things.”

Caviness says people have to speak collectively if there is to be real and lasting change. 

“If we don’t act ultimately as brothers and sisters, we’re gonna die as fools.”

7 p.m. Update

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (CNN) — Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Los Angeles, for what so far has been a peaceful protest.

The protesters are seen above outside the court house and elsewhere downtown.

The protest continues to grow and grow, and started at 1 p.m. with about 500 people.

3 P.M. UPDATE

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) — Protesters marched the streets to Cleveland Heights City Hall Wednesday afternoon. 

Dozens were seen gathered in the peaceful protest, and officers kneeled and prayed with them. 

10:45 A.M. UPDATE

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has learned the Cuyahoga County Sheriff said they were only expecting as many as 300 people at Saturday’s protest.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff not prepared for large protest: ‘It was like a snowball that got bigger and bigger’

10:00 A.M. UPDATE

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered one of the people arrested in violent protests over the weekend is a 15-year-old.

Reporter Ed Gallek says the teen was arrested by RTA police and was armed.

8:30 A.M. UPDATE

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The Detroit-Superior bridge reopened on time, but W. 25th was delayed. W. 25th was reopened after 8:30 a.m.

6 A.M. UPDATE

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The City of Cleveland reports more than 100 people have been arrested in connection to violence and looting following protests Saturday in Cleveland.

Protests started peacefully in the afternoon.

After several hours, some people in the crowd resorted to violence, tearing apart storefronts downtown and setting police cars on fire.

The Cleveland Division of Police reports the people arrested are charged with aggravated robbery, vandalism, and curfew violations.

In a press release, police say they are monitoring activities associated with the violent demonstrations and that they’re working closely with the Ohio National Guard and other law enforcement agencies.

Investigators are still looking for other people who participated in the violence who are not in custody.

Police are asking anyone who has video or pictures to upload it here.

Police say investigators continue to review hours of video recorded by officers’ body cameras.

The City of Cleveland has a curfew in effect for the Central Business District and the W. 25th Market District from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The curfew is set to expire June 5.

You can read the Proclamation of Civil Emergency here.

City leaders are reviewing whether to put a new curfew in place for the weekend.

Cleveland Division of Police Chief Calvin Williams and Mayor Frank Jackson are holding a virtual townhall Thursday, June 4.

It starts at 5:45 p.m.

Residents can ask questions regarding public safety and the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can register here.

A timeline of what led to protests, violence across the nation after the murder of George Floyd

The protests are in response to death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

Floyd died Monday, May 25, when an officer kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes.

The officer has been arrested. Many are calling for other officers who were part of the incident to be arrested as well.

Click here for continuing coverage

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