Two police officers were assaulted during clashes with communist agitators outside the Republican National Convention on Wednesday. Their attempt to burn the American flag devolved into scuffles with the police and others, leading to eighteen arrests.
The officers received minor injuries, Cleveland’s police department said.
Yahoo News reported that it was “unclear what protesters were demonstrating about,” but their screeches about United States genocide, endless wars and Black Lives Matter could be heard during the melee. Their pre-printed signs read, “America was never great! We need to overthrow this system.” The protesters bill themselves as the “voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA.”
Via Yahoo News:
Tensions between police and protesters began to rise after they tried to burn an American flag. Police officers rushed in to put out the flames. Protesters were given an order to disperse, and some refused.
Photos of the protest showed a man dressed in black, wearing a black cap, waving the burning flag in the air.
According to Cleveland’s police department, the man accidentally set himself, and others, on fire.
Protestor lit flag on fire, then lit himself on fire, catching others on fire. Flames extinguished by firefighters. No serious injuries.
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) July 20, 2016
In the video, an officer can be heard hollering, “You’re on fire, stupid!!!”
This video shows the protesters getting pepper sprayed as they scuffle with police:
The 18 arrests on Wednesday brought the total number of arrests at the RNC to 23, according to police.