(CLEVELAND) — Largely peaceful demonstrations following the acquittal of a Cleveland police officer in the killing of an unarmed couple continued Saturday evening, as some groups of people turned more rowdy and police said there were multiple arrests.
A spokesman for the mayor’s office said it was not clear how many of the arrests were directly related to the protests and how many were people “being a nuisance.”
“We are trying to sort that out,” said Dan Williams, a spokesman for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
Michael Brelo was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter and a lesser charge of felonious assault in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. Prosecutors said Brelo, 31, was one of 13 officers who fired 137 times into the couple’s car in the November 2012 shooting.
Among those arrested Saturday night was a man was charged with assault after he allegedly injured a patron at Harry Buffalo’s on East Fourth Street when he threw an object through the window, police said.
After a day in which peaceful demonstrators carried signs and chanted after the handed down a not guilty verdict, police reported that some protesters were turning “disruptive.”
Protests began immediately after the verdict, with demonstrators outside the courthouse chanting “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” — a rallying cry linked to the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Sheriff’s deputies stood outside the courthouse carrying shields, blocking the demonstrators from entering.
In a demonstration that had already been planned to mark six months since the killing of Tamir Rice, a black 12-year-old carrying a pellet gun who was shot by a white rookie officer, about 200 people walked in a mock funeral procession. They carried a black, plywood coffin and softly sang “I’m going up yonder, we’re marching, we’re marching.”
The protests continued into the evening, when a crowd temporarily blocked downtown street intersections and chanted anti-police slogans.
Demonstrators also marched past sports fans getting out of a Cleveland Indians-Cincinnati Reds game, adding to the congestion.
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