Things got ugly in Cleveland in May, when #BlackLivesMatters protesters and police clashed after Officer Michael Brelo was found not guilty of two counts of voluntary manslaughter. After a 22-minute car chase in 2012, 13 officers fired into a 1979 Chevy Malibu, killing Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, who were unarmed. At one point, Brelo, who is white, jumped onto the hood of the car and began firing through the windshield.
In that case, police knew the verdict was imminent and had time to prepare for any unrest. That wasn’t the case yesterday, when a large disturbance led to police using pepper spray on an angry crowd.
What was the offense this time? No deaths, no shootings, no guns. According to Cleveland.com, transit police removed from a city bus a 14-year-old boy they said was drunk. Unfortunately for them, the bus stop at which they removed the boy was in front of Cleveland State University, which was hosting the Movement for Black Lives national conference.
A crowd gathered around the bus stop as police were taking down the boy’s information, so they put the boy into a squad car, which further infuriated the growing crowd — some even tried to grab the boy from out of the squad car.
Some of the disturbance was captured via the Periscope app and spread via Twitter and numerous TV news outlets.
WEWS-TV in Cleveland spoke to some of the protesters, and also showed the boy ultimately released into his mother’s custody.
In related news, #BlackLivesMatter protesters are expected in Cleveland next month as the city and Fox News host the first GOP debate of the campaign season. Cleveland, of course, is also hosting the Republican National Convention next summer. Time to start preparing?