Cleveland police: ‘We are prepared for anything and everything’ in possible unrest after Chauvin trial verdict

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The city of Cleveland held a public safety press conference Tuesday where they discussed how they are preparing for possible unrest after the Derek Chauvin trial verdict, where both sides gave their closing arguments Monday.

Both sides rested their case Thursday at the murder trial of former officer Chauvin who is charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25 death of George Floyd, according to the Associated Press.

Mayor Frank Jackson, Public Safety Director Karrie Howard and Police Chief Calvin Williams had discussions regarding public safety as violent crimes, specifically involving guns, are on the rise, according to the city.

Williams says once the Chauvin trial verdict is announced, the city has a plan in place whether people come downtown for a peaceful protest or “things start to go left of center.”

“We are prepared for anything and everything that could happen in the city not just here in the coming weeks with the verdict coming down but as we go forward,” Williams said.

He says the department learned many things from the May riots and put those things into practice during the presidential debates held in Cleveland.

“We are revamping our policy as it relates to civil unrest, protests and first amendment activities to make sure that everyone is clear, to make sure that everyone’s constitutional rights are protected but also to make sure that our city is safe.”

See what else was discussed in the press conference below:

  • Williams says the city has “all hands on deck” to try to combat the issues with violent crimes and drug activity
  • The city is ramping up their technology and personnel resources to face the rise in crime
  • Jackson says minor traffic stops help police in finding criminals with warrants and confiscating guns and drugs in the car during the stop
  • Jackson says criminals are finding a loophole in purchasing guns where someone passes a background check and purchases multiple guns only to turn and sell them to someone else who doesn’t pass a background check
  • Jackson says he has never heard residents complain of a strong police presence in their neighborhood, especially in high-crime neighborhoods
  • In light of possible unrest due to the Chauvin trial verdict, Williams says the city is prepared for anything and everything that might come up during possible protests
  • Williams says lessons were learned after the May riots last year and put into practice for high profile events like the presidential debate in November
  • Williams says the police have two helicopters that respond to specific incidents; one is currently grounded for repairs, the other is usually not seen in neighborhoods but is often up in the air for patrolling purposes

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