Downtown Cleveland George Floyd protest: 66 arrests, 23 fires, 20 hospitalized, multiple injured first responders

Cleveland Police cruisers set on fire during George Floyd protests downtown
Cleveland Police cruisers set on fire during George Floyd protests downtown(WOIO)
Updated: May. 31, 2020 at 9:50 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The City of Cleveland confirmed the damage done by the George Floyd protests downtown Saturday afternoon through the early hours of Sunday morning that could be described in numbers.

“Yesterday, demonstrations that began peacefully in downtown Cleveland became unlawful with people throwing objects at law enforcement officers and police horses, vandalizing buildings, damaging other property, stealing from small businesses and lighting police cars and businesses on fire. While this may not be indicative of the actions of all protesters, they quickly became dangerous,” the City of Cleveland said.

[ Cleveland Police cruisers set on fire, objects thrown at officers, vandalism continues during George Floyd protests downtown ]

The City confirmed Cleveland Police arrested 65 adults and one juvenile during the course of these protests.

Those arrested face charges that include, but are not limited, to aggravated rioting, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and curfew violations.

“The Cleveland Division of Police continues to investigate criminal activity stemming from Saturday night’s rioting that has not yet resulted in charges or arrests. More arrests are expected,” the City said. "Investigators continue to analyze evidence, including video of offenses committed in order to identify offenders and bring them to justice. Investigators ask that anyone with information regarding the criminal activity that occurred during yesterday’s downtown protests contact law enforcement. Anonymous information can be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers at 216-25-CRIME.

According to the City, the Division of Fire responded to two structure fires and 11 fires involving dumpsters, trash cans, ticket booths, and other items.

Cleveland firefighters also responded to a total of 10 vehicle fires, including four police cars, according to the City.

The police cars were not the only city vehicles damaged during the protests.

Protestors also broke the windshield of a fire truck, putting it out of service until it is repaired.

An EMS vehicle is also out of service after being so heavily damaged, according to the City.

Firefighters also responded to multiple first responder calls for trauma, the City said.

According to the City, the Division of Emergency Medical Service brought a total of 20 individuals to area hospital systems.

Cleveland Police confirmed some protesters threw objects on police officers and the mounted unit, including the horses.

The City said multiple first responders were injured, but none reported serious injuries.

“Throughout the course of yesterday’s unlawful rioting, police took enforcement actions including the deployment of munitions after multiple orders given by law enforcement to disperse were ignored. The orders were given when it became apparent clear that the violent actions of a few were not only making the demonstration unsafe for officers but for other attendees as well... These attacks on our first responders are inexcusable and wrong,” the City said.

According to the City, the Departments of Public Works and Building and Housing began assessment and clean-up efforts early Sunday morning.

The department is working to restore the city and clean up the debris, broken glass, and graffiti left by protestors, according to the City.

The City also said to it is working closely with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and the Downtown Cleveland Residents Association to assess damages and estimate costs associated with the destruction.

On Saturday, the City of Cleveland instituted a curfew due to 'violence and unrest’ in the midst of the George Floyd protests that erupted downtown by enacting a Proclamation of Civil Emergency from Civil Unrest.

City officials extended the curfew twice, so now it is in effect from noon on Sunday, May 31 until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2 for vehicle and foot traffic.

The curfew has also been expanded from the Central Business district to the Market District and Ohio City.

Cleveland Police said “No one should be outside downtown. Violators are subject to arrest. A parking ban is declared as of noon on all downtown city streets. Vehicles in violation will be towed.”

[ Downtown Cleveland curfew extended from noon Sunday to Tuesday night ]

The City of Cleveland said “the downtown area has remained quiet and peaceful as downtown residents have complied with orders to shelter in place,” with the curfew enacted on Sunday.

According to the City, the Cleveland Department of Public Safety and the Division of Police continue to work with local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as the Ohio National Guard, to ensure that the city remains peaceful.

The City of Cleveland stated:

"After Saturday’s unfortunate turn of events, we are amazed by the response from the community wanting to help rebuild and support first responders. This is the Cleveland we know. Our city is filled with talented, big-hearted people who love CLE. However, at this time, we ask people to continue to stay out of downtown for their safety and to allow our city vehicles to pass easily for clean-up and emergencies.

For now, the public can help by sharing our updates. We will rebuild our city, together."

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