Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrived at the Republican National Convention to support Donald Trump on Tuesday, and appeared nonplussed when he was swarmed by a group of Code Pink protesters. Concerns about protests turning violent during the GOP convention in Cleveland prompted local officials to instill a large police presence around Quicken Loans Arena.
On Tuesday morning, activists from the antiwar organization Code Pink got in the face of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio as he walked to the Quicken Loans Arena.
“Shame on Sheriff Arpaio,” a group of about a dozen Code Pink female protesters shouted at the Arizona law enforcement officer as he walked to the convention arena. Sheriff Joe was escorted by Indiana State Police troopers to help ensure his safety.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrives at GOP convention surrounded by police, media and angry Code Pink protesters. pic.twitter.com/DYNbFQ2568
— Jacob Rascon (@Jacobnbc) July 19, 2016
The Maricopa County Sheriff is known for his brutally honest manner and blunt nature. Joe Arpaio addressed the anti-police movement in the country while in Cleveland, Fox News notes.
“Never have I seen what’s going on today in our country and internationally also,” Sheriff Arpaio said.
The Arizona sheriff also pointed out he began saying there was a “war on cops” in America two years ago, NBC News reports.
“I just had a deputy that was shot because the shooter did not like receiving a traffic ticket. Right after that they shot up my substation by a Hispanic. The other guy that shot at my deputy and hit him three times was white,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio added.
So far, only minor incidents have occurred outside of the Republican National Convention. One or two protesters have been shown venturing inside, but the individuals merely held banners for a few moments before being escorted out of the arena.
Approximately one dozen protesters walked onto Public Square, dragging an American Flag on the ground behind them. Donald Trump supporters insisted the group pick the flag up off of the ground – the protesters refused. Heated words were exchanged between the two groups before police officers arrived and broke up a possible fight.
“You want to destroy it? You have to go through me first,” one man wearing “biker gear” was heard yelling out.
The Bikers for Trump group, comprised primarily of veterans and retired police officers, rode from around the country to attend the convention to nominate Donald Trump. Chris Cox, the founder of the group, said that unlike some Black Lives Matter and New Black Panther protesters, his group was not coming armed to the Cleveland event. Cox said the bikers would have a presence outside and around the Republican National Convention to help support police officers and keep the peace.
Also on Tuesday, the second day of the Republican National Convention, a “scuffle” started on Public Square in the afternoon. The minor incident reportedly began when Donald Trump protesters clashed with fans of Alex Jones – a conservative radio show host.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said he and his officers tried to separate the two groups and keep them apart until reinforcements arrived. Several hundred officers ultimately converged upon Public Square – including cops on bikes and some carrying tear gas. Although the atmosphere became tense, order was reportedly restored very quickly.
Members of the Revolutionary Communist Party reportedly opted to leave the Donald Trump protest to go attend a police brutality march nearby. Cleveland police officers on bikes rode along beside the protesters as they got on the road and walked for approximately a half a mile before dispersing.
A relatively small group of young protesters, adorned in masks, also chose to leave the square and attempted to take over the streets as well. A “cat-and-mouse game” with police ensued briefly, but the law enforcement officers quickly got the situation under control once again.
Trevor Lees, 23, a member of the West Ohio Minutemen, and about a half-dozen members of his group, also attended the gathering on the square near the Republican National Convention. Lees, like many others in the area, exercised his Second Amendment rights and utilized Ohio’s open carry laws, to pack his Smith and Wesson M&P15 with him.
“We’re here to make sure the police know they have some support,” Lees told reporters.
What do you think about the Donald Trump protests at the Republican National Convention?
[Image via Shutterstock]