CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has learned nearly two-dozen people are sitting in jail under investigation for felony charges following the rioting which broke out during a protest Saturday in downtown Cleveland.
As of late Sunday morning, more than 20 were being held facing potential charges tied to aggravating rioting and violating the city curfew. Some also were under investigation for vandalism.
Cuyahoga County Sheriff David Schilling says a total of 66 people got arrested during the unrest. It is not immediately clear how many people in that group got arrested or cited for lesser, misdemeanor charges.
The demonstration was organized to call for justice following the death of George Floyd, a man who died in police custody in Minnesota.
But a peaceful demonstration erupted into people throwing rocks at police and sheriff’s deputies, burning police cars and other vehicles and looting downtown stores.
Late Sunday, police began filing charges. One man from Elyria got charged with aggravated rioting, and a court complaint says he refused to move from the area and then used his bike to smash the window of a building at W. 3rd and Lakeside.
Also, four people were charged with breaking and entering for stealing from a shoe store with a broken out window. However, that took place out at E. 79 and Euclid.
We’ve learned some are from Cleveland. Others list addresses in Macedonia, Avon, Elyria, Mentor, Westlake and other towns in Northeast Ohio.
As for ages, we’ve also learned many of the suspects are in their 20s and 30s.
**Take a look at some of the destruction, below**
Meantime, what happened could even result in federal charges.
The US Attorney’s Office in Cleveland issued the following statement:
“In response to the violent activity we witnessed in Cleveland overnight, all components of federal law enforcement are working very closely with the Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Ohio National Guard, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, and others to identify any individuals engaged in the destruction and defacement of our downtown. Where any laws, including federal criminal statutes, have been violated by those who participated in violence, arson, or property damage, we are committed to holding them fully accountable for their actions.”
We’ve also learned one juvenile was arrested on a weapons charge at Tower City.
Two officers sent the I-TEAM a flyer raising questions abut how many people went to the protest simply to cause trouble. An officer saw a rioter drop the flyer on the street. It outlines specifically when to throw rocks and bottles, when to start getting wild, and more.
Cleveland Police union president Jeff Follmer said, “These protests aren’t peaceful anymore. They’re planned.”