The head of the Cleveland police union urged Ohio Governor John Kasich to declare a state of emergency and move to suspend laws allowing the open carrying of firearms during the Republican National Convention, after the shooting of six police officers in Baton Rouge Louisiana.
"I don't care what the legal precedent is, I feel strongly that leadership needs to stand up and defend these police officers," Steve Loomis, the head of the police union told Reuters in an interview.
In a statement, Governor Kasich denied the request saying that "Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend constitutional rights as suggested by police union."
The Republican National Convention begins on Monday with law enforcement and security professionals throughout the country holding their breath. The City of Cleveland predicts that their will be widespread rioting near the RNC Convention and throughout the city as police are forced to divert their resources to ensure the safety of the event audience.
The New Black Panther Party, who some are claiming for the violence in Baton Rouge, has pledged to protest at the event against police brutality and against Donald Trump's statements regarding minorities. Separately, a group of radical skinheads from Sacramento known for bloody knife attacks has also pledged to attend in support of Trump. The real wild card, however, may be the 20,000 person strong Bikers for Trump group that has vowed to come armed to the teeth.
Conflict between the two opposing sides may be worse in the wake of the Baton Rouge shooting as police brutality and excessive force against black men has now been offset by a disturbing tide in a violence targeting police. In the past month, the country has faced the shooting deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling that enraged the African American community followed in swift succession by the terror unleashed on the Dallas Police Force and on Sunday a similar horror story for the Baton Rouge Police.
The FBI has issued a series of warnings throughout the country about violence targeting officers. The first warning was issued to Baton Rouge Police for the period of July 8 to July 10 after officials learned of credible threats to engage in a "police purge" to "kill all police" in vengeance for the killings of Castile and Sterling. Similar warnings were issued in Miami and Baltimore, only hours before Baltimore police were ambushed.
The country's growing racial divide seems to be growing with increased animosity beginning to play out between the general public and either the black community or cops with many effectively picking a side.
Donald Trump did not wait to stir the pot on Sunday by issuing a statement criticizing President Obama for his feckless leadership over the issue of police being targets for premeditated violence.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2016
"How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country? We demand law and order," said the Republican nominee in a statement that is a shot across the bow against Obama and is certain to only incite greater animosity.