The largest police union in Cleveland demanded the state put a temporary ban on guns during the week of the Republican National Convention.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association (CPPA) represents many police officers who will patrol the convention. Police officers throughout the country are the targets of violence due to the rise of anti-police rhetoric. CPPA President Stephen Loomis is urging Ohio Gov. John Kasich to put a temporary ban on guns for the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County during the convention as a safety precaution.
“He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point,” Loomis told CNN Sunday. “They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over.”
The Republican convention is a high-profile political event that will attract large crowds and protests. Ohio law allows licensed firearm owners to wear their weapons in public, which poses a potential problem for law enforcement at the convention.
“We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry,” Loomis said. “I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.”
Loomis hopes a gun ban will prevent the murders of police. A sniper killed five Dallas police officers July 7 during an anti-police protest. Another man killed three police officers, while injuring many others in Baton Rouge, La. during an ambush attack Sunday. Anti-police rhetoric is also on the rise due to those who believe law enforcement is systematically racist.
There have been several incidences of alleged police misconduct that garnered national attention in the last couple years. Freddie Gray died in April 2015 from spinal injuries while in the custody of Baltimore police. Additionally, Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, Mo. by local police. Both deaths resulted in several protests as well as riots and looting.
Kasich did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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