Cuyahoga County sheriff: Without proper riot gear, deadly force to control protesters would have been an alternative

Cuyahoga County sheriff: Without proper riot gear, deadly force to control protesters would have been an alternative
Surveillance video from protests (Source: Cuyahoga County)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cuyahoga County Sheriff David Schilling provided an update to the ongoing investigation and information collecting related to the civil unrest in downtown Cleveland on May 30.

Sheriff Schilling said without the appropriate riot gear and non-lethal weapons, the use of deadly force would have been considered.

“We would been left with no other alternative than to, I guess for lack of a better term, go hands-on with many of these people and become physically engaged with them in order to protect the building, the Justice Center, and keep them from forcibly entering the Justice Center,” Sheriff Schilling said during Tuesday’s Public Safety & Justice Affairs Committee meeting.

“That would have been the only alternative, up to and including possibly having to use deadly force,” added Sheriff Schilling.

Demonstrators clashed with Cuyahoga County deputies and Cleveland police officers in the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The sheriff estimated that up to 4,000 people may have attended the protests in Cleveland. He was expecting between 200 and 300 protesters.

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Sheriff Schilling also said investigators are trying to track down firearms stolen out of two Cleveland Division of Police cruisers as well as an assault rifle that was taken from a bailiff’s vehicle.

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