The Latest: Police: Few issues on first day of convention

AP News
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Posted: Jul 18, 2016 8:04 PM
The Latest: Police: Few issues on first day of convention

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations and gatherings outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (all times local):

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7:50 p.m.

Cleveland police are reporting few problems and one arrest as night fell on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

Chief Calvin Williams told a Monday night press briefing: "So far, so good."

Williams says there has been no violence and no property damage. He says about a dozen people have been seen exercising their right under Ohio law to openly carry guns.

He says the one arrest involved a person on the city's Public Square who had a felony warrant and is also being charged with resisting arrest and obstructing official business.

Williams says bicycle officers moved in several times to stop sniping between various groups from becoming violent.

Williams says he witnessed one encounter on Public Square between eight or nine Trump supporters and about a dozen people who are against the candidate.

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5:15 p.m.

A federal judge in Dayton is allowing an Ohio college student charged with trying to rush the stage at a Donald Trump rally to stay out of jail, but warns him to stay away from Cleveland during this week's GOP convention.

Court records state 22-year-old Thomas DiMassimo admitted Monday he violated conditions of his release but the judge decided not to revoke his bond. The Dayton Daily News reports he had an unexcused absence from electronic monitoring while meeting last week with an academic adviser.

The judge earlier rejected his request for permission to go to Cleveland for the convention, which runs Monday to Thursday.

DiMassimo has pleaded not guilty to a charge of illegally entering a restricted area. Trial is scheduled next month.

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4:30 p.m.

There were no major clashes between pro-Trump and anti-Trump forces, whose rallies were staged about a half-mile apart on the opening day of the GOP convention.

But there was at least one minor dustup involving right-wing religious demonstrators who got into a shouting match with some of the anti-Trump protesters.

City officials said police arrested one woman on a standing warrant after she jumped on a public stage and grabbed a microphone from a speaker. No more details on the arrest were immediately available.

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4 p.m.

A Cleveland police officer says awareness is high in the department after recent shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Patrolman Bohdan Roshetsky, an eight-year veteran of the department, said Monday you can't let fear take over because you have to stay focused so you can do your job.

The 56-year-old Roshetsky says he's become emotional several times over the overwhelming support he and his fellow officers have received from people in town for the convention.

Standing at Cleveland Public Square with a few dozen other bicycle officers from Cleveland and Akron and Indiana State Troopers, Roshetsky received hugs and requests from pictures from passers-by.

He says even protesters complaining about police tactics have been respectful.

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3:05 p.m.

Donald Trump's campaign manager says that political disruption at the Republican National Convention could help the presumptive GOP nominee.

Paul Manafort says that's because such disruption will show a lawlessness and a lack of respect for political discourse that has turned off Trump supporters.

Speaking Monday at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast for reporters, Manafort likened the impact of disruption on images of protesters making it difficult for Trump to get into one of his own events in California earlier in the year.

Manafort says people saw that and said, "'This is not an America I want.'"

He says that while protests won't disrupt Trump's message inside the hall, if it gets a lot of coverage, it probably will help the campaign.

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2 p.m.

The first major rally against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has attracted several hundred people to a downtown Cleveland plaza about a half-mile from where his supporters are gathering.

Protesters on Monday chanted "Dump Trump now!" and held signs saying things like "No racism, no fascism, no Trump" as they started to march through the streets.

The dissenters included many upset with Trump's stances on immigration, including a plan to build a wall at the Mexican border, and his push to keep Muslim visitors from entering the U.S.

Demonstrators also used the event to protest what they called racist police practices — several held signs calling for disarming the police and at one point the crowd broke into a "Black lives matter!" chant.

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11:25 a.m.

More than 100 Donald Trump supporters are starting to show up for the first major pro-Trump rally during this week's Republican National Convention.

About a dozen are legally carrying guns near downtown Cleveland, but there's no obvious sign of a police presence.

There's been much discussion about open carry as the convention gets underway Monday.

The president of Cleveland's police union had asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to suspend the law allowing legal gun owners to carry firearms openly. But Kasich says he doesn't have that authority.

A Pennsylvania man who's attending the Trump rally with a Smith and Wesson handgun strapped to his belt says he and the others carrying guns are not there to intimidate anyone. He says it's more about exercising their rights.

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11:15 a.m.

The Cleveland police chief says that security planners considered whether a ban on the open carry of firearms could be enforced during this week's Republican National Convention but learned that police had no authority to override state law.

The issue surrounding open carry has become a concern in Cleveland after the fatal shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in recent days.

The president of one of Cleveland's police unions asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to suspend the law that allows legal gun owners to carry firearms openly. Kasich countered that he doesn't have the authority to do so.

Several people showed up on Cleveland's Public Square on Sunday carrying firearms. About a dozen people had guns before the start of a Monday rally.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said Monday that police officers are being told to be especially cautious.

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9:10 a.m.

Left-leaning activist groups pushing for "economic justice" and an "America First Unity March" sponsored by Citizens for Trump will hit the streets of Cleveland.

Two groups are scheduled to hold rallies and marches Monday, the official start of the four-day Republican National Convention.

There are concerns about violent protests during the RNC between supporters and foes of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Cleveland police reported one arrest Sunday after a man tried to grab a police officer's gas mask.

Monday also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Cleveland's Hough riots. The riots that began July 18, 1966, were sparked by a confrontation between black residents and a white bar owner and led to nearly a week of looting and violence in one of the city's east side neighborhoods.