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Police and Protesters at RNC Show Some Respect and Patience

Monday protesters at Cleveland's Perk Park
Monday protesters at Cleveland's Perk Park

A wide variety of opposing protest groups have stormed into Cleveland –and some are armed- but the Cleveland Police Chief says “so far so good.”   That’s what observers are saying as well.

Monday protesters at Cleveland's Perk Park
Credit Ideastream
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Monday protesters at Cleveland's Perk Park

The city set up a specific parade route for protesters but it hasn’t stopped some groups from blocking downtown streets at rush hour like this group on Chester Avenue yesterday afternoon. Police in cars and on horses and bikes followed them to Perk Park

The police never bothered this group for breaking the rules and that’s how it should be, said Eric Ferrero of Amnesty International.

"It is important that the police be flexible to allow for peaceful protests to occur.  People have a fundamental human right to peacefully protest.  That’s their duty and their obligation.  By and large we’re seeing that.”

It seems a lot better than Minneapolis and New York City when a mass of people were arrested.

“We’re a few hours into day one," said Chief Calvin Williams.  By evening the police chief looked relieved.  One woman who signed up to speak at Public Square was arrested but that was because she had an outstanding felony warrant.    

The other nervous moment came when a group of Trump supporters squared off with an anti-Trump group.  Officers used their bicycles as a barricade between the two sides.

“Things did start to heat up a little bit as far as the rhetoric.  We just brought in the bike guys in and cut it off a little bit, gave everybody some space, and it continued on.”

One of the Trump supporters told us that he was here to support Trump and to defend the police. Do you appreciate the armed people coming to protect your officers?

The chief chuckled, "We appreciate the sentiment but as you can see have more than enough officers to protect ourselves.

Amnesty International’s Ferrero says the Cleveland's police force appears well trained but he has worries that some of the out-of-town police officers in the city this week may lack the same training. 

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