Cleveland Ohio Police Officer Yells ‘You’re On Fire, Stupid’ At Flag-Burning Protester [Video]

Cleveland, Ohio, police officers are currently faced with keeping the peace at the Republican National Convention, no easy task amid outrage from protesters over the nomination of Donald Trump.

Some of the opposition has chosen to manifest that disapproval by burning American flags, a gesture which resulted in several controversial arrests. One protester in particular was stopped by a Cleveland police officer who yelled, “You’re on fire, stupid!” at him as he rushed to prevent the man from inadvertently setting flame to himself instead of the flag. Video of the incident was captured by a bystander.

As the circumstances of the incident were quite attention grabbing, Cleveland police sought to clarify what lead to the events taking place in the video. On social media, an official statement recounted the department’s version of events.

The contentious act of flag burning was the cause of several skirmishes with both Ohio police and Trump supporters. One woman was carried away by Cleveland law enforcement as she crouched on the ground and slowly set fire to American symbol. Official response was that the move was taken in order to prevent injuries and not because of the choice of the flag as kindling.

Cleveland Police Department’s Twitter posted updates throughout the ordeal. Some tweets seemed to attempt to document justification for the arrests that were made, while others sought to deny claims that Ohio officers had used pepper spray to break up the demonstrations.

Flag burning is, of course, nothing new when it comes to the art of protest in the United States. In attendance at the Cleveland protest was actually the man who ushered in protection of the act under free speech in the late 1980s with a landmark Supreme Court case. CBS News reported that Gregory “Joey” Johnson was taken into custody — assumedly for also failing to yield to a dispersal order.

Not all of the protesters gathering in Cleveland, Ohio, meant their desecration of the American flag as purely anti-Trump. Carl Dix, a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party on/scene, said that he was there for what both Republicans and Democrats had done around the globe while holding the nation’s highest office.

“[Burning the flag is a] political statement about the crimes of the American empire. There’s nothing great about America.”

In at least one other instance this week, Ohio’s police force has also found itself at the center of the national divide between law enforcement and citizens who say that they should face more accountability. Outside of Cleveland, Columbus was the site of a viral story when an officer found glass in his sandwich at Lincoln Cafe. Later statements from the eatery apologized for what they called a mistake.

What do you think of the Cleveland, Ohio, police response to flag burning protesters?

[Photo by Natacha Pisarenko/AP Images]