Courts Extend Hours In Preparation For Rowdy RNC Convention


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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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The Cleveland Municipal Court system announced Wednesday it is extending its hours to better prepare for the Republican convention later this month.

Cleveland’s Municipal Court normally closes at 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, but plans to reopen from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. The change in hours will only last from July 18-21, when the convention ends. City officials announced plans to clear additional space in city buildings close to the downtown complex to create room to hold detainees.

Local judges from counties surrounding Cleveland announced they will volunteer to help if any additional manpower is needed. Those surrounding court systems cleared their dockets of normal day-to-day business while the convention is in town.

“We did what we refer to as worst case scenario planning,” Judge Ronald Adrine told local reporters Wednesday. “None of the last six election cycles have been anything like what we expect to see here.” The Republican Convention with the highest number of arrests in recent history was the convention during the 2004 election. That convention took place in New York City, and 1,800 people were arrested.

The Cleveland Municipal Court system normally processes 200 cases a day, but the changes announced would enable the city to handle up to 1,000 cases a day, if necessary. The Cleveland City government continues to prepare for the worst. The city sat on permits for protesting organizations for months, before an ACLU suit forced the city to approve the requested permits on a “first come-first served” basis.

Cleveland is not the first city to prepare for the worst. Dallas police ran riot drills ahead of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s arrival for a simple campaign rally. The convention in Cleveland is on track to be much more divisive. There’s an active anti-Trump movement within the party, united support among “trumpeters,” and a union machine set to protest the entire event.

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