CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Eighteen people were arrested and taken away in zipties by police after a fight broke out during protests near East 4th Street and Prospect Avenue on Wednesday, reporter Dani Carlson said. The fight started after protesters tried to burn an American flag. Two police officers, a CPD officer and an Ohio State Highway Patrol officer were punched and shoved when other protesters jumped in and tried to stop the flag burning, said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.
Police were telling everyone to clear the area. It is near the security zone entrance to Quicken Loans Arena. Crime scene tape was put up in the street.
Delegates were told to lineup to try to get them through the security zone. Police made a human blockade to keep protesters out.
A self-identified evangelical group out of Indiana were the same ones instigating people in crowds at Public Square and Mall B throughout the week and were involved again in Wednesday's clash.
Protesters started yelling at the crowd, then several people went up to the group and shoving and fist-punching started. Cleveland police said that two officers suffered minor injuries.
The media and some of the crowd were pushed to the side by mounted police in the street. Officers continued to work to get the scene under control as it involved lots of people with different viewpoints.
Revcom.us - Revolutionary Communist Party, USA - were some of the people who were arrested and escorted out of the area.
Protest groups and police have been going back and forth between Public Square and East 4th Street all day. This has to be the hottest spot for demonstrators during the Republican National Convention.
Police, firefighters and EMS officers from across the country are helping local law enforcement keep the peace. At times, there appears to be more police and media than protesters.
Men, women and children are walking up and getting into the faces of the officers standing guard. One boy walked up to police and shouted, "Go home. You're pond scum."
We are keeping an eye on the activity and will continue to update the situation live.
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