Day 3 | Large fight leaves 18 arrested, 2 officers assaulted - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Day 3 | Large fight leaves 18 arrested, 2 officers assaulted

(Source: WOIO) (Source: WOIO)

Cleveland police have been providing two daily updates since the convention began. A fight broke out during protests near East 4th Street and Prospect Avenue on Wednesday. The fight started after protesters tried to burn an American flag and ended up setting himself on fire and also catching others on fire. 

Wednesday 7 p.m. briefing

There were 18 arrests from RNC protests in downtown Cleveland Wednesday afternoon. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says police officers are keeping an eye on some protest groups that are trying to be disruptive.

“There are people that don’t want to just protest, get their message across, so that people can hear their message and try to do something about it. Their only reason for being here is disruption, disorder, chaos, hurting people and damaging property. Those are the only people at this point that are giving us any problem at all,” Chief Williams said.

City officials hope the convention closes out on a positive note tomorrow.

They say it's been a busy day. 

Chief Williams says police officers confiscated gas masks, tent stakes, metal screws and a number of other prohibited items today.

He says they're most worried about the protesters who are focused on hurting people or damaging property.

The past three days have been long for police officers, but Chief Williams says they are holding up.

“We’re getting water and Gatorade and things like that to officers, logistical people basically traveling from site to site making sure water is given out, people are properly hydrated,” Chief Williams said.

City officials say some vendors have been cited for moving out of their approved zones.

They urge vendors to stay where they are permitted so everything runs smoothly.

In total, Chief William says there have been 22 arrests in the past three days.

Wednesday 10 a.m. briefing 

Chief Calvin Williams says the protests and demonstrations on day two of the GOP convention were more active and much larger than the ones that took place on day one.

Police officers in downtown Cleveland worked to contain several groups of protesters marching near the RNC Tuesday afternoon and evening.

There were also several open carry demonstrations. Chief Williams says in those instances, tactical officers are deployed as a safety precaution.

"We had three guys will bull horns and they were powerful. We had to get them out of there and let them know that those things were not allowed," said Chief Williams. "Protesters voice their opinion on things, they march...this group kind of just ran through the streets." 

Mayor Frank Jackson says despite what it looks like, the crowds haven't really caused a problem for people who work downtown.

"It's been inconvenient, some people leave earlier from work or come in earlier," Mayor Frank Jackson said. "They are making it work."

Bicycle and mounted units have been instrumental in crowd management.  

"When things have sparked up, our officers and our partners have been there to take care of it," added Chief Williams:

Chief Williams and Mayor Frank Jackson made the remarks at their daily security briefing Wednesday morning. 

"We want to make sure everyone is safe," said Chief Calvin Williams. "Things have gone so far, so good. I can't speak on what might happen today."

There have been a total of five arrests related to RNC since it began.

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