CLEVELAND — Seventeen people were arrested outside of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Wednesday after protesters burned an American flag, according to Cleveland police.
The protest was caught on camera by the Los Angeles Times, which was live-streaming the protest. (WARNING: VIDEO LINK CONTAINS DISTURBING CONTENT AND FOUL LANGUAGE)
Several dozen protesters wearing shirts that read Revolutionary Communist Party before setting the flag ablaze. The action loosed emotions in the crowd and several people began pushing and shoving during the planned protest.
Though the fire was quickly contained — a Cleveland police officer sprayed one person with a fire extinguisher while yelling “You’re on fire, stupid!” — small scuffles between possible protesters or bystanders broke out. Several were lead away in handcuffs.
According to Cleveland police, although others in the crowd also caught on fire, no serious injuries were reported.
Cleveland police said two officers assaulted and sustained minor injuries during the protest.
The protest closed one of the main entrances for both officials and media attending the convention. It was reopened shortly after.
The arrests mark what has been a surprisingly nonviolent week in Cleveland. Though tempers have flared and protests have been nearly unending, very few people have been arrested over the first three days of the convention.
Since the convention began on Monday, 22 people have been arrested.
KTAR’s Jim Sharpe and Carter Nacke are in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention all week. Stay with us for ongoing coverage, both on-air and online.