Walls Going Up Around Cleveland and Police Will Deal with Armed Protesters

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Police from all over Ohio and surrounding states are coming to Cleveland to provide security for the Republican National Convention next week.  

Protest groups plan to march in the streets and parks for the event. Some are expected to carry guns because Ohio is an “open carry” state.   

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says his department has “tweaked” its policies on dealing with armed protesters after 5 police officers were shot to death by a sniper in Dallas last week.

 “Well anytime something happens around the country, especially something as violent as Dallas, as tragic as Dallas, it cause all of law enforcement, it causes all of this country to kind of step back and look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it to make sure that we do everything possible to ensure a situation like that does not occur again.”  

Williams says he prefers that Ohio did not have an open carry law but he says his officers are prepared to deal with it.

“We’ve had people with assault rifles and handguns and you name it.  And groups of people.  We’ve handled it before. We have tweaked our policies a little bit, to ensure that everybody is safe, including that person who is open carry.”

Cleveland no longer has its own gun laws after the state legislature passed a state-wide law.

Build the Wall

Barriers are going up around the city now. 

Crews are beginning to set up barricades around the city of Cleveland for next week’s Republican National Convention.   Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports Cleveland is getting walled in.

Big 8 foot fencing is already standing around the Convention Center where the press will be working and pallets of additional barricades line the streets.  But Mayor Jackson prefers another term.

“There are no barricades,” he says, “they are assets.”

Call them what you will but they’ll block off some streets to provide a security zone around Quicken Loans Arena.

Secret Service Agent Ron Rowe says crews will work overnight to get them up.

“Thanks to the Cavaliers winning the NBA championship we didn’t have a lot of time for the build-out.  So we are really on a compressed time schedule but the build-out will proceed all the way through for the remainder of the week.   It will be finished by Saturday morning.”  

No one can get inside the hard perimeter without convention credentials.   Rowe noted that while the parking garage for the Jack Casino is outside that security zone, cars driving into it must first go through a vehicle screening.

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