Police appreciated in Cleveland

USA Today reports:

CLEVELAND — Sometimes they approach cautiously, other times full of confidence, with a smile and an outstretched hand.

“Thank you!”

“Thanks for your service.”

“We appreciate you.”

Despite their overwhelming numbers on the streets, patrolling around the Republican National Convention here are being treated less like an occupying force and more like respected members of the community, no matter where they’re from. More than 2,000 officers from more than a dozen states are working in Cleveland this week, alongside local officers.

“I appreciate the work they do. Their lives are on the line at all times,” said 7-Eleven clerk Eddie Vernon, after shaking an officer’s hand near Public Square. “The officers really do appreciate it. They will almost break your hand shaking it, they appreciate it so much.”

Vernon, who is black, says he goes out of his way to show respect and appreciation for police officers. He’s all-too-aware of how many members of the black community feel about cops these days, he says.

Nice to see most protesters treating the officers who are doing their job with respect.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said visitors — and even many protesters — have been thanking officers, which hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“The mood is good,’’ Williams said. “They are taking pictures with people. It’s been good.’’


And Wednesday afternoon, as officers broke up a flag-burning protest and pushed the crowd back onto the sidewalk, several Republican delegates and their guests loudly thanked the officers and broke out into “America The Beautiful.” That clash, which police say started when a flag burner accidentally lit himself on fire, turned chaotic as a total of 17 people were arrested and two officers suffered minor injuries.

Heh I’m sorry, but that is sort of funny.

Bryan Hambley, an organizer for the Stand Against Trump group, credited police with transforming the anxiety-ridden preparations for the convention into a largely peaceful convening so far, involving demonstrators of all stripes.

“The police are doing a great job, and the protesters are doing a great job,’’ Hambley said.

Protests are good. Protests that break the law are not. Those in Cleveland are doing it the right way.