CLEVELAND – The first two days of the Republican National Convention saw only five arrests in the city of Cleveland.
That changed on Wednesday, day three, after 17 people were arrested and two officers were assaulted at a march and flag burning protest.
Of those arrested, 2 people were charged with felonies for assaulting the officers. Neither sustained any serious injuries.
The other 15 people were charged with misdemeanors.
On Thursday morning, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Police Chief Calvin Williams gave the first of their two daily updates on safety in Cleveland.
Talking about the orders to disperse the crowd during the flag burning on Wednesday, Chief Williams said that warnings to leave were given over loudspeakers, on the ground and also by him to several protesters. The orders were given three times.
The decision to disperse the crowd was given because of “violence being perpetrated,” according to the Chief.
The initial protester who had wanted to burn a flag decided not to. It was after that the second group of protesters arrived and began their burning.
No one was arrested immediately after the flag was burned. There was a police lieutenant on scene who was trying to put out the fire on the flag and on one of the protesters. The Chief recounted that the officer kept telling the protester that he was on fire and he was trying to help. Some thought he was using pepper spray but instead, he was using a fire extinguisher.
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Article Courtesy of WJW Fox 8 News Cleveland
Picture Courtesy of Getty Images