A weekend long conference hosting workshops and organizing spaces in Cleveland, Ohio, attendees forced police to release a 14-year-old black youth who was being arrested, but not before an officer blindly pepper sprayed anyone around him.
While the conference was wrapping up at at Cleveland State University, police were attempting to violently arrest a black youth across the street from the event.
Witnesses have stated that it was for not having his bus ticket.
It is unclear if the teen had been attending the Movement for Black Lives.
Many in attendance have taken to social media claiming that the use of violence by police was deliberate, and that the Cleveland police had been monitoring the conference all weekend waiting for a moment when they could provoke the activists.
Officers reportedly “slammed the teen to the ground while making an arrest and pepper spray was used,” according to ThinkProgress.org.
The protesters began to link arms, until an out-of-control cop began pepper spraying anyone he saw, including people who were simply filming what was taking place.
Demonstrators from the conference began to rally around and protest the child’s arrest.
If this was done by a parent, teacher, or anyone else in this child’s life- they would be arrested for child abuse.
When police do it, it is always blamed on the victim.
In a rare and magical victory, despite being assaulted with the chemical weapon for absolutely no reason, the protesters won- and the child was released from custody.
“‘That’s a precedent that will never be undone. Damn right.’ One cop says to another cop of the Black community coming together,” the official Twitter account for the conference tweeted.
It is currently unclear who made the decision to release the child, but we will update this with more information as it becomes available.