Police pepper spray Black Lives Matter protesters near Cleveland State University

theGRIO REPORT - A "Black Lives Matter" national conference in Cleveland had just finished and protesters were concerned about the officer's handling of the young teen...

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Police officials in Cleveland say they were in process of removing a “drunk” 14-year-old from a bus to take him to a police station.

That’s when they say they were confronted by protesters, according to WKYC-TV.

A “Black Lives Matter” national conference in Cleveland had just finished and protesters were concerned about the officer’s handling of the young teen.

“Folks were asking what is going on? Why are you trying to arrest this young man? All of us just saw what happened to Sandra Bland in Texas so forgive us if we are a little concerned,” said Edward Little, criminal and juvenile justice consultant and member of the Cleveland Eight.

Protesters say they were offered no explanation and more officers were called to the scene.

“They begin to form a barricade around the car urging the police to let the young man go but they wouldn’t and when they were linking arms and doing chants one of the police officers began pepper spraying the whole line,” said conference attendee Destinee Henton. “They were on the ground covering their faces. He was still spraying them toward the ground so that’s when more people started coming out.”

“I was told the police are pepper spraying people down the street and I’m seeing people run for milk so they can be protected from pepper spray all because people are asking what happening to a young man,” said Rhonda Y. Williams, history professor atCase Western Reserve and member of the Cleveland Eight. “When we have an officer who comes out of nowhere and is pushing people and then takes out and just starts spraying with his pepper spray, that’s not deescalation.”‘

In a statement, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority said:

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. Within minutes, a large crowd had gathered. For the safety of the juvenile, Transit Police moved him from the open shelter area into a police cruiser. The crowd then surrounded the car, and attempted to remove the juvenile from the car. By this time, several other law enforcement agencies had also responded. The crowd kept the police car from leaving the area. A Transit Police officer used a general burst of pepper spray in an attempt to push back the crowd, to no avail.

The incident is now under investigation.