On the third day of the Republican National Convention, seventeen people were arrested after protesters attempted to burn an American flag.
Cleveland Police said that 17 people were arrested, two of them for felony charges, bringing up the total amount of people arrested at the RNC to 22.
During the flag burning, police quickly extinguished the fire after a protester lit himself on fire. People wrongly assumed the spray used by the police was pepper spray because it shoots out of a similar can and can have the same eye-burning effect.
“You’re on fire. You’re on fire, stupid,” an officer yelled as the flag burning was taking place.
“Burn that rag! Burn that rag!” protesters yelled.
Police officers managed to get in between protesters standing in a circle with their arms locked. They pushed the protesters back from the incident and created a barricade around the area with bicycles that police officers were using. Police then used their horses to create a path for those that were detained.
The two felony arrests were for assaulting a police officer as they moved in to extinguish the fire. One officer was punched and a dispersal order was given. Those that did not obey the order were arrested. One officer was seen bleeding from his elbow and the Cleveland Police Department said both assaults were minor injuries.
Carl Dix, a representative from the Revolutionist Communist Party said the group burned an American flag as a “political statement about the crimes of the American empire. There’s nothing great about America.”
“Blue Lives Murder,” some of the protesters yelled at police officers.
Some in the crowd began to chant “America Was Never Great” as the as the flag burning commenced.