ACLU: Cleveland Protesters Jailed To Keep Them Off Street

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After the arrest and detention of 18 people Wednesday near the Republican national convention, civil rights attorneys charged that the city of Cleveland is not living up to an agreement reached last summer designed to ensure the efficient and effective arrest and processing of prisoners, reports “The city of Cleveland announced that the courts were prepared to handle upwards of 1000 arrests per day, yet this small group of people are facing long delays in having their cases heard,” said the American Civil Liberties Union. “There is no reason these people should be held for so long on minor charges.” Sixteen people were arrested on misdemeanor charges of failing to disperse after orders from the police. Two people face felony charges of assaulting a police officer.

The ACLU’s Christine Link said the delay violates the spirit of the agreement reached in July 2015. The ACLU sued over the arrest of four people who were protesting the acquittal of Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo. The ACLU charged that the city purposefully delayed bringing the four demonstrators and many others before a judge to keep them from potentially returning to the streets. The suit was settled last November. Link said the city can hold the demonstrators “but there is no reason to do so” given the steps and protocols put in place for the Republican National Convention. “They are making sure they are not back on the street protesting,” she said.

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