A transit police officer in Cleveland, Ohio pepper sprayed a crowd of “Black Lives Matter” protesters after they surrounded a cop car in which an allegedly intoxicated 14-year-old teenager was being held to prevent him from leaving the area.
The protesters were attending the first “Black Lives Matter” conference in downtown Cleveland, which was attended by more than 1,200 participants who spent the weekend organizing and discussing various “social justice issues,” according to The Huffington Post.
The tense moments were captured on video in Cleveland after the conference wrapped up and police confronted the teenager about an open container by a bus stop. WARNING: Strong language):
— #PennyRaps Dropped. (@RicWilson) July 26, 2015
— Tyree Boyd-Pates (@TyreeBP) July 26, 2015
Police said in a statement that they removed the 14-year-old boy from a bus because he was “intoxicated to the point where he was unable to care for himself.” Officers took the minor to a bus shelter and then relocated him to a police cruiser.
“Transit Police followed normal procedure, which is — after police collect pertinent information, juveniles are transported to police headquarters to await release to a parent or legal guardian,” the statement said.
However, a crowd reportedly surrounded the police cruiser within minutes and “attempted to remove the juvenile from the car, police said. When the crowd stopped the police cruiser from leaving the area by locking arms, an officer used a “general burst of pepper stray in an attempt to push back the crowd, to no avail.”
Despite the crowd being pepper sprayed, while they yelled and cursed at the officer, no one retaliated physically and no arrests were made.
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Police confirmed that the 14-year-old was released to his mom at around 6 p.m. on Sunday, and the incident is under investigation.