The #M4BL, or “Black Life Matters” conference in Cleveland, Ohio ended peacefully today. Fifteen minutes later, reports, photographs, and video surfaced of the crowd being pepper sprayed by an alleged member of the Cleveland Police.
According to a report from ABC Newsnet 5, hundreds of peaceful demonstrators gathered at the corner of East 24 St and Euclid Ave, just after 5:00 p.m. and began blocking the streets. According to eyewitness reports, a 14-year-old boy was accused of possession of an open container at a bus stop and was approached by police officers. The boy was allegedly slammed to the ground, pepper sprayed, and arrested.
The Black Life Matters conference was being held across the street from the scene of the arrest, at Cleveland State University. Attendees began to rally at the alleged scene of the arrest. Shortly thereafter, reports began emerging on social media of Cleveland RTA Police officers assaulting those gathered with pepper spray, according to a report from Mashable.
Reports from the scene indicate that the 14-year-old victim of the alleged police macing has been treated by EMS and released to his parents.
RTA officials have indicated that they will release a statement on the events later Sunday evening, after having spoken to officers who were on the scene.
The Inquisitr has already reported this month on another black man pepper sprayed during arrest, who died of breathing trouble shortly thereafter.
Comments on social media from members of the conference, people who were on the scene and other supporters of the Black Life Matters conference, hit hard.
“Call & demand the termination of this Officer who pepper sprayed our people.”
“We are so traumatized as a community… and daily endure more… [expletive] the police that pepper sprayed my 12yr baby.”
“They kept [expletive]ing spraying us, they also just brought 20+ police cars and tempting (sic) to surround us”
The Inquisitr will continue to watch for developments as this story unfolds.
[Photos collected via Twitter user @MalcolmLondon]