Cleveland police arrest 18 when demonstrators burn USA flag

  • Cleveland police arrest 18 when demonstrators burn USA flag

Cleveland police arrest 18 when demonstrators burn USA flag

The multinational group has a delegation of human rights observers in Cleveland for the convention.

Police have given protesters broad leeway, choosing not to make arrests over minor crimes. Two of those arrested were charged with felonious assault on a police officer, the rest with failure to disperse.

Johnson was the defendant in the case that led to the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled flag-burning constitutional.

Despite the tumult, police said there were no protest-related arrests. Williams said there had been no violence and no property damage. There was no immediate word on any arrests or injuries.

Williams said an individual whose trousers were on fire got defensive when an officer tried to extinguish the blaze and assaulted the officer.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Police arrested 17 people Wednesday after a melee broke out during a flag-burning in the streets outside the Republican National Convention.

Lt. Michael Butler of the Cleveland Police Department said Wednesday that charges were pending for between 10 and 16 people. One officer was seen bleeding from an elbow.

He says those in custody will be formally booked at a city booking center.

Fears about violent clashes between groups supporting and opposing Trump's nomination didn't materialize on the first day of the convention.

About 300 officers from more than a dozen law enforcement agencies are patrolling on bicycles in downtown Cleveland during the convention, the police chief said.

The protests briefly made it hard for convention delegates and reporters to enter the arena.

At least four people were detained. Around 3:30p, a man carrying a flag was quickly surrounded by police and firefighters, which caused a scrum of media and looky-loos to follow, but no burning took place and the man left the scene without incident.

Police in Cleveland have broken up a couple of skirmishes between demonstrators outside the Republican National Convention.

Police later told convention delegates to line up in the middle of the street and ordered bystanders to leave.

Police Chief Calvin Williams, who has been working the streets this week alongside the rank and file, seemed to gravitate toward the loudest protesters - the ones creating the greatest disturbances.

The crowds and the police presence were some of the largest and most raucous gatherings in downtown Cleveland since the convention got underway Monday.

Williams said a protester whose trousers caught fire got defensive when a police officer tried to put out the blaze.

Officers, some wearing riot helmets, yelled at the crowd to move back as members of the flag-burning group locked arms amid chants of "It's time, it's time for a revolution".

The request came as the deadly truck attack in France and the ambush killings of five police officers earlier this month in Dallas and three more in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, over the weekend heightened fears of bloodshed in Cleveland.

Several hundred demonstrators - including peaceniks passing out flowers, people protesting police use of force and members of the hacktivist group Anonymous - converged on Public Square late afternoon, just as representatives from the Westboro Baptist Church began their scheduled time on the designated speaker's platform.

This story has been corrected to show protests were Wednesday, not Thursday, and to show police say that a fire extinguisher was used, not pepper spray.

Protestors yell during a rally against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday, July 18, 2016, in Cleveland.

Warm temperatures in the low 80s may be playing a role in keeping people away.

A small group protesting Donald Trump's plan to build a wall between the USA and Mexico is making its own wall in downtown Cleveland.

A threatened flag burning Wednesday and a wall-building stunt mocking Donald Trump's Mexican border plan have potential to fuel already bubbling tensions outside the Republican National Convention. That gathering had more of a focus, summed up with large banners reading "Dump Trump".