A conference protesting police violence against African Americans ended in police violence against African Americans on Sunday, when at least one officer deployed pepper spray against men and women protesting the arrest of a 14 year-old teenager.
The arrest occurred in Cleveland, across the street from Cleveland State University, which was hosting a conference sponsored by The Movement for Black Lives. Currently, there are conflicting reports regarding why the teenager was arrested. Cleveland’s ABC affiliate reports that the teen “was accused of having an open container at the bus stop when he was approached by officers,” while numerous sources on Twitter claim that he was arrested because he did not have a bus ticket.
Police reportedly “slammed the teen to the ground while making an arrest and pepper spray was used.”
After this arrest, protesters rallied near the scene, and one video of the protest shows them linking arms in an apparent effort to prevent police from breaking up the protest. According to reporting by Jonathan Walsh, a reporter with the ABC affiliate, that’s when a white officer began to pepper spray the crowd.
A livestream of the ongoing protests can be viewed at this link.