In the wake of the Dallas massacre that left five officers dead and a dozen more wounded in retaliation for the unjustified and widely seen police murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota city officials in Cleveland are getting increasingly nervous about what the Republican Convention may bring to the city from July 18-21.
"The Republican convention was going to be a powder keg all along. This just puts gasoline and dynamite and a match on top of all of that," Nina Turner, the minority whip of the Ohio Senate, told reporters Friday. "I’m nervous as hell about what’s going to happen in Cleveland."
Many worry that the Cleveland powder keg may be more like a time bomb with the emergence of a new Black Panther Party and social media calls for a nationwide police purge to "kill all police" combined with a massive wave of outside protesters joined in the same melting pot by bikers, survivalists, and white supremacists supporting Donald Trump.
The Cleveland Ohio police union has already issued warnings that "cops and convention goers are sitting ducks" expressing little confidence that they will be able to contain the pandemonium when an increasingly divided America sets foot in the same city limits.
The police union president, Steve Loomis, blasted the mayor of Cleveland saying that he "just doesn’t get it" and added that "Command staff has arrogantly dismissed concerns of officials from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)."
The situation appears so dire that the Cleveland has placed a request for officers around the country to assemble in the city to help provide security, but the police union insists that they have grave safety and security concerns for "rank and file officers" who may very well be the target of unrest. "I wouldn’t hold it against them if they decided to pull out" said the irate police union president to Breitbart news regarding officers Cleveland hopes to farm in for the convention.
It is known from city records that dozens of groups plan to conduct mass protests in Cleveland ranging from social justice organizations to abortion groups on both side of the issue to white supremacists from California and finally Black Lives Matter protesters who are aggrieved by the growing scourge of police brutality and racial animus in America.
Notably, the city denied the permit request for Al Sharpton’s planned protest in Cleveland citing security concerns, but also garnering ill-will from the many of peaceful protesters whose voice will be suppressed by the action – many of these individuals may ultimately protest without a permit risking arrest.
The country now looks on at what has been created by virulent rhetoric, dismissing the needs of an oppressed population that only wants to be able to pursue their lives in peace without the threat of being on the wrong side of a police officer’s bullet, and an angered middle America who will not soon forget the innocent officers whose lives were prematurely cut short. Whether pain turns to tragedy and tragedy turns to horror will be seen in one week when the Republican Convention begins.