New protester arrest policy in Cleveland

New protester arrest policy in Cleveland

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The City of Cleveland has set up a new procedure to prosecute protesters who are arrested for minor infractions.

The change comes after 71 people were arrested in May 2015. Those arrested were protesting the verdict in the Michael Brelo trial.

Some were detained for days, prompting civil rights attorneys to call for a more streamlined process of prosecuting protesters arrested on minor charges.

"What happened after the Brelo trial can't and shouldn't happen again," said city councilman Zack Reed.

Reed is helping to develop the change in Cleveland.

He says during the Brelo trial protests, he received calls from families of the protesters who were arrested, saying they could not locate their loved ones or get any information on where they were being held.

"Thanks to Judge Adrine and James Hardiman and the NAACP at least we sat down at the table with prosecutors, public defenders, house of corrections and the ACLU and came up with a protocol. If police get 'em here we will process them quicker," Reed said.

A second meeting in the past 24 hours has helped finalize the changes in protocol.

If protesters take to the streets when the grand jury comes back with a decision in the Tamir Rice case, the city now should not be detaining protesters for days.

"Failure to disperse shouldn't keep you in jail for 72 hours," Reed said.

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