Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday July 18, 2016
Republican National Convention: Security officials brace for ‘anything and everything’
About 150 anti-Trump protesters marched along the streets in an unscheduled demonstration Sunday in downtown Cleveland, a peaceful event that law enforcement officials likely hope will be the standard over the course of the next four days.
Slowly followed by dozens of officers on bicycles, the demonstrators, many who supported the Black Lives Matter movement, held up large banners that read “Stop Trump and the RNC” and “Stop Trump and stand against racism.” And when it was over, the crowd quietly dispersed.
Police Cmdr. Keith Sulzer said the protesters did not have one of the official protest permits that have been handed out to dozens of groups who have come to the city, the site of the Republican National Convention.
Still, police allowed them to march. “We’re letting them voice their concerns and that’s completely fine,” Sulzer said.
The city was given a $50-million grant to boost security specifically for the Republican convention. Officials have been wary to provide information on security, but anywhere between 4,000 to 5,000 law enforcement officers including state, local and those from other jurisdictions will be on hand for the event. Officers have undergone hours of comprehensive training, Williams said.
Extra equipment includes 2,000 sets of riot gear with body armour and batons, 2,500 steel barriers and 16 police motorcycles, CNN reported. Meanwhile, security cameras have been placed throughout the city.
“Trust me. There will be enough video coverage both on the ground and in the sky,” Williams told reporters.
Around 3,000 personnel, including members from the U.S. Secret Service, Homeland Security and the Coast Guard, are dedicated to the security of the convention itself, Johnson said.
Security officials drew up a list of prohibited items within the event zone that include items as diverse as water and pellet guns, knives, sledgehammers, ladders, coolers and ice chests, canned goods, umbrellas with metal tips and tennis balls.
But Ohio is an “open carry” state, meaning gun-owners will be able to carry firearms, except within the security perimeter that surrounds the convention venue, dubbed “The Q.” (Source: CBC News)