Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cleveland Police Just Bolted the Doors at First District Station To Prevent Eight Protesters from "Overtaking Lobby"

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 10:50 AM

On this, the two-year anniversary of Tamir Rice's death, demonstrators have gathered at Cleveland Police's first district headquarters on W. 130th Street. They're "occupying" the police station all day, organizers say, in preparation for an official press conference at 5 p.m. Samaria Rice is scheduled to give remarks on the occasion of the anniversary.

This morning, as depicted in the video above, police officers locked and bolted the doors of the First District station, in alleged direct contradiction of The Cleveland Police Monitoring Team.

Organizer Rian Brown wasn't sure who from the Monitoring Team was on site, but confirmed that a representative was present.

"As soon as they left, they relocked the doors," Brown told Scene in a Facebook exchange.

Cleveland Police Public Affairs Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia wasn't immediately available for comment by phone or email. First district commander Thomas McCartney confirmed that Charles See, a member of the monitoring team "visited [him] this morning."

McCartney said that in the past, protesters have "overtaken the lobby" and made it difficult to conduct routine police business.

"We are open for business," McCartney said. "Anyone wishing to come in and conduct legitimate business — make their concerns noted, file a report — are welcome and we'll take care of them."

McCartney said that everyone has a right to petition their government, including the demonstrators outside, but that they should do so peacefully and not by interfering with regular police business. At the time of the doors' bolting, there were only eight protesters present. More are expected to arrive throughout the day and have been summoned on social media.

Charles See was unavailable for comment at his office at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry.

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