CLEVELAND, OH – Some of Law Enforcement Today’s sources have asked us to pass on an officer safety alert to Cleveland police officers.
We have been reporting on the many instances where protesters/rioters have threatened police officers with violence. This time, a speaker at a protester very publicly told police that they have “some addresses” and would be showing up to officers’ homes “unannounced.”
This is Cleveland, Ohio – a city that is 50% black and only 33% white. These protesters say that black lives matter, but then they destroy, burn, and loot majority black neighborhoods. Their whole movement is based on a lie, as are these riots. pic.twitter.com/xdNIpmTUzU
— Kaitlin Bennett (@KaitMarieox) May 31, 2020
WKYC was live-streaming at a rally on Saturday and the speaker said:
“This fire’s about to keep burning…we not gonna let up.
“We gotta start showing up to people’s houses, and we gonna do that.”
A woman in the crowd yells, “Exactly!”
Don’t ask how I got the riot shield.. ✊? CLEVELAND we definitely showed out today. and I will stand STRONG WITH MY FELLOW AFRICAN AMERICAN KING & QUEENS #BlackLivesMatter ✊?? #JusticeForGeorgeFlyod pic.twitter.com/LIY9S0WKEi
— Mattobandz ®️ (@MattoBandz) May 30, 2020
The man continues:
“We already got some addresses. We got some addresses already. So what’s coming next is we gonna start showing up at your house.”
A woman again yells:
You can view the threats starting at around the 9:20 mark below.
Protesters have gathered peacefully in Cleveland's Clark-Fulton neighborhood, speaking out against the killings of both George Floyd & local man Desmond Franklin.Read more: https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/multiple-protests-that-are-expected-to-be-peaceful-planned-across-northeast-ohio-on-saturday/95-51a47fa6-a94c-493f-80b4-ad90594fff8b
Posted by WKYC Channel 3 – Cleveland on Saturday, June 6, 2020
It’s been reported that police are still searching for suspects in the violence, property damage, and looting that occurred following the protest.
While these threats haven’t been verified, Cleveland officers and their families, please exercise extra caution.
None of 99 arrested during downtown Cleveland riots were from outside Ohio, countering Cleveland police chief’s statements https://t.co/CrKPXWFLYn
— Seth A. Richardson (@SethARichardson) June 2, 2020
Also in Ohio following the in-custody death of George Floyd, Columbus has seen violent rioting.
Here’s a report from Law Enforcement Today regarding damage and violence in the city.
Protests related to police brutality have been cropping up throughout the nation, following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
One of those protests took place in Columbus, Ohio on May 28th, which reportedly escalated into instances of vandalism.
— Eric Halperin (@EricHalperinTV) May 29, 2020
In a fashion that we’ve recently seen in Minneapolis, Minnesota, what started off as peaceful demonstrations evolved into riotous and criminal acts.
Participants scattered throughout the swarm of demonstrators were said to have thrown items at police officers, which police responded with tear gas reportedly.
More things are started to be thrown at officers. Mostly water bottles but have also seen a shoe and something like a flare. Police have said over loudspeaker crowd control devices may be used. @nbc4i pic.twitter.com/DYVr5z7v4g
— Eric Halperin (@EricHalperinTV) May 29, 2020
The Ohio Statehouse was said to have had windows smashed as well.
The SWAT team was eventually deployed after the Statehouse had suffered damage, with people breaking into the building itself. Police also were said to have declared a state of emergency, warning that any demonstrators who remained in the area would be arrested.
The criminal damage also found its way over to the likes of police cruisers as well.
Cruiser windows broken during unrest in Columbus — COTA stops damaged, window to statehouse and Ohio theatre damaged too. pic.twitter.com/Z8Aqmbits9
— Hattie Hawks (@HattieHawksNBC4) May 29, 2020
Sgt. James Fuqua with the Columbus Division of Police stated the following about the difference between protesting and engaging in acts like destruction of property:
“It’s OK, to exercise your amendment rights and your freedom of speech, and we encourage that. It’s OK to do that. However, it is not acceptable to exercise those amendment rights and then turn to criminal actions such as criminal damaging and vandalism.”
Video that was captured outside of the Statehouse building showed several individuals running up and down the stairs out front. During the video, the sounds of breaking glass can be heard repeatedly.
Riots starting in Columbus Ohio . First building is the statehouse pic.twitter.com/p7VgD3HPpF
— ً (@MambaJama) May 29, 2020
Local residents took to Twitter, some to support the acts that took place within the city, while others were admonishing the behavior of the rioters present.
One user wrote:
“The riots here in Columbus Ohio last night were just an excuse to tear up property and steal! I said what I said! They should all go to jail! A protest should not lead into a riot! Sickening!”
The riots here in Columbus Ohio last night were just an excuse to tear up property and steal!
I said what I said! They should all go to jail! A protest should not lead into a riot! Sickening!
— Jessica (@JJenkins2020) May 29, 2020
Others are also bringing up the question as to why demonstrations that turned into riots transpired within a state that has zero to do with what happened to George Floyd in Minnesota.
While some can claim that the venue is irrelevant when it pertains to a perceived injustice, the venue does become all the more relevant when property is damaged within a city or state that never played host to the stemming incident.
Moreso….what does Columbus, Ohio have to do with what happened to Minneapolis? Just another excuse for lawbreakers to riot.
— Hurricane Hunter (@dropsondeoperat) May 29, 2020
Not only have the riots in Columbus created destruction, it also created fear within the residents. One user on Twitter stated:
“I can’t go outside right now. I live in Columbus Ohio and riots are breaking out everywhere. Thank god i just quit my job, I DO NOT wanna work in the middle of this.”
Luckily, police were able to regain some sense of control as the hours passed from the evening hours of May 28th into the early morning hours of May 29th. While there was certainly a level of damage and rioting reported from the incident, it has been reportedly stifled for the most part.
Despite the common sense approach that many have taken to online, noting that the riots breaking out in various cities is not the answer to emotional outrage over George Floyd’s death, there are still those that claim that destruction of property is justified.
On one Twitter exchange, a user conveyed sympathy for the death of Floyd and understanding where the frustration is coming from, but condemned the riots in Columbus. A user then responded to that sentiment with the following:
“The violence that started it is to blame for it. Why is it that people don’t get upset when a man is killed but when people start to protest against it, they get upset and say that’s not the answer?”
The violence that started it is to blame for it. Why is it that people don't get upset when a man is killed but when people start to protest against it, they get upset and say that's not the answer?
— Truly "Not a Warrior in Trump's Army" S. (@hotincleveland) May 29, 2020
The obvious fallacy in that response is that, generally speaking, most people vocal about the death of Floyd have condemned the acts of the officers involved.
We’ve seen countless videos of local officials, police chiefs across the nation, mayors and governors and notable personalities saying that they disagreed with the actions of the officers in the video.
Most would be extremely hard-pressed to find some considerable level of support or justification in the video involving the officers and Floyd. Essentially, it is very possible and reasonable to have outrage over Floyd’s death while simultaneously condemning acts of rioting and criminal damage.
Neither sentiment cancels out the other.
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