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Flag Burning Provocation at RNC Sends 17 to Jail

Two members of the Revolutionary Communist Party being arrested after the flag burning. (Matt Richmond)

Cleveland police arrested 17 people downtown yesterday after one group set an American flag on fire.   A Cleveland police officer and a state trooper suffered minor injuries.  More from ideastream’s Mark Urycki  


Members of the Revolutionary Communist Party announced they would light up the flag at Prospect and 4 th street.   Police Chief Calvin Williams said it was their right to burn a flag but he and members of the police and fire department were there, standing by.      

 “The individual that actually lit the flag lit himself on fire and then as we were trying to put him out and he’s trying to push my officer away he actually got a couple other people lit on fire, which we tried to put out too.”

A woman tried to relight the flag, counter protesters then got involved and police ended up arresting 15 for refusing to disperse and 2 for assaulting officers.  Williams said they’ve made it easy for demonstrators to express their opinions but some groups aren’t interested in speech.

"There are some people that their only reason for being here is disruption, disorder, chaos, hurting people and damaging property.  Those are the only people at this point that are giving us any kind of problem at all.”  

Williams says he’ll be out on a bicycle today and hopes the convention will end on a positive note.