Cleveland police are making preparations to deal with mass arrests and large demonstrations ahead of next week’s Republican convention. City officials say some courts will be kept open almost 24 hours per day in case protesters are arrested en masse. Authorities have also opened up extra jail space to hold protesters. Ohio is also an open-carry state, meaning it is legal for demonstrators to publicly carry guns outside the convention. Calvin Williams is Cleveland’s police chief.
Police Chief Calvin Williams: “We’ll follow the state law and, of course, the U.S. Constitution as it applies to Second Amendment rights. We’ve done events in the past where people have presented themselves in an open-carry format, and we’ve handled that. We have tactics and policies in place that deal with that. I’m not going to get into specifics, but we’ve talked about, of course, since Dallas and other things have happened, how we better that.”
Authorities, including the FBI, have been monitoring protest groups ahead of the convention and even approaching local activists. Police have also said they will deploy a video unit to document police interactions with demonstrators.