Muni Lot Open Container Crackdown Coming Directly from Browns, Police Source Says

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A police source has informed Scene that the mysterious muni lot open container crackdown has come entirely at the behest of the Browns themselves. The Browns want people walking up to the stadium and partying there, the source says, though that's clearly not what fans want.

"There's no way to enforce it," says the cop. "What are you gonna do? Write everyone a ticket?"

[Update: Alec Scheiner flatly denies the report via Twitter. "... just not accurate."]

In a heated exchange Thursday on 92.3's morning talk show Kiley & Booms, Joe Cimperman denied City Council's involvement.

Cimperman said he had "no idea" where the directive was coming from — at the time, it was unclear whether or not a new or more vigorous directive even existed — and that councilman Matt Zone brought the issue to the council floor Monday night. Cimperman said they're expecting answers from the police soon.

"Why now," is the Ward 3 councilman's logical question, given the antics at the muni lot that have been playing out  — in flagrante delicto! — for 40 years.  

But Kiley & Booms wanted to spar. 

"This is a concerted effort coming from somewhere," Chuck Booms insisted. "The police called into the show. They feel like grim reapers. They don't want to enforce this. It can only come from two places: City Council or the Browns."

Cimperman repeatedly refuted the notion that council o- or covertly ordered more stringent policing. And after our intel from the police, it seems likely that the Browns are behind it.  

The going conspiracy theory isn't even a conspiracy theory anymore. And it never should have been. It's 100 percent in keeping with Cleveland's typical balance of power. The Browns organization, in a systematic effort, intend to get fans out of the muni lot and into the stadium earlier, to enjoy "unique gameday experiences" (via Browns PR) and partake of new "activation spaces that provide fans an innovative gameday environment that also matches each partner's (aka DODGE! FORD! BUD LIGHT! PEPSI! etc.) personality and vision."  

Rob McBurnett, of the Browns communications team, did not answer questions relating to the organization's involvement.

"What communication have the Browns had with Cleveland police on this issue specifically?" Scene inquired. 

"Maureen Harper of the City is your best contact for this subject," McBurnett replied. 

Harper said she suspects a lot of this is conjecture and said that there will not be an increased police presence at the muni lot this Sunday. She said she's been trying to refute a recent report from Channel 5, which she said was gleaned primarily from social media, and that the policies that have been in place for years will remain the same. The concern, as has been related around social media, is that Twitter and the media who picked up on it are literally the epicenter of the whole thing and nothing substantive has changed, despite what sources said.

"There's no change," Harper said. "We're doing what we've always been doing."

As to the Browns' communication with police, Harper said that to her knowledge, none exists.  

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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