Cleveland Courts Prepare for RNC Demonstrations
by Nick Castele
Cleveland police plan an update tomorrow on the city’s security plans for the Republican National Convention—meanwhile, prosecutors, defense attorneys and the courts have been planning how they’ll respond if there are large-scale arrests.
Judge Ronald Adrine, the administrative and presiding judge for Cleveland municipal court, said his judges are prepared to run three courtrooms 24 hours a day during the RNC.
“What we’ve done basically is we’ve postponed all of the ordinary business of the court so that it will not take place during that week,” Adrine said. “And the only things that we’ll be taking care of during that week will be the fresh arrests.”
He said he’s aiming to give detained protesters their first court hearing 10 to 12 hours after their arrest. But the timing also will depend on how long it takes police to file charges.
Adrine said he wants law enforcement to respect demonstrators’ right to free speech.
“There are things that cross the line, clearly,” he said. “And so if somebody injures someone, or if somebody destroys property, those things cross the line, and police say they are bound to deal with those folks by way of arrest.”
Civil rights groups are enlisting defense attorneys to represent people who end up in handcuffs during the convention, and Cuyahoga County has plans to free up 200 beds in the jail.