RNC flag-burning demonstration gets heated, several arrested

WPVI logo
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Raw: Arrests during protest outside RNC
Raw video shows protesters getting pepper-sprayed and arrested outside the RNC in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND -- More than a dozen people have been arrested outside of the Republican National Convention after a flag-burning protest got out of hand in Cleveland Wednesday.

The demonstration started at about 4 p.m. outside Quicken Loans Arena where the RNC is being held, and quickly escalated.

Cleveland police posted on social media, saying orders to disperse were ignored:

Here's video showing tension between protesters and police:

When protesters continued to disobey police orders, officers used pepper spray on the crowd and then jumped in to regain order. Several people were handcuffed and taken away.

** Click on the video player above to watch unedited video from the protest, showing the pepper spray and arrests **

The protest made it difficult for some delegates to get inside the arena. Police officers told delegates to line up on a yellow line in the street and ordered all others to leave the area.

This photo shows the group burning a flag during the demonstration that led to the chaos:

Police yelled to people to move back as the flag burning group locked arms.

Police wearing riot helmets arrived at the scene and police horses were being used to create a path to a van for people being detained.

Cleveland firefighters were able to put the fire out quickly:

Cleveland police said two officers, one with Cleveland police and the other with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, were assaulted during the ordeal. They suffered minor injuries, including bumps, scrapes and bruises.

In all, 17 people have been arrested on the third day of the convention, bringing the total number of arrests during the RNC to 22.