"Black Lives Matter" activists met in Cleveland over the weekend for a national conference, but likely didn't plan on ending up in a police incident on July 26 that was caught on video (below).
The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) police told WKYC that they took a 14-year-old black boy off a bus because he was intoxicated.
Around the same time, the "Black Lives Matter" conference had ended at Cleveland State University. Some protesters began to join hands and encircle the police car that was transporting the teen.
Conference attendee Destinee Henton told WKYC (video below):
And they began to form kind a barricade around the cars, telling them, urging the police to let the young man go, but they wouldn't and then when they were linking arms and just kind of doing chants and things like that, they started, one of the police officers began pepper spraying just the whole line.
They were like got to the ground, they were on the ground like covering their faces. He was still like macing them like towards the ground.
The RTA said in a statement:
For the safety of the juvenile, Transit Police moved him from the open shelter area into a police cruiser. The crowd then surrounded the car, and attempted to remove the juvenile from the car. By this time, several other law enforcement agencies had also responded.
The crowd kept the police car from leaving the area. A Transit Police officer used a general burst of pepper spray in an attempt to push back the crowd, to no avail.
The juvenile was escorted from the police cruiser to a waiting EMS unit to be examined at the scene. He was then released to the custody of his mother at 5:47 p.m.
Rhonda Y. Williams, history professor at Case Western Reserve and activist, told WKYC, "This is a classic example of why the DOJ had to come in and investigate and why we have a consent decree and why we need community voice and input."
The Cleveland police are not part of the RTA police, but Cleveland cops and other departments did show up at the scene, The Guardian reports.
Photo credit: YouTube Screenshot