The National Lawyers Guild and NAACP are reporting that eight special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Elyria, Ohio Police Department raided a home without consent or presenting a warrant on Wednesday morning, July 20. The agents questioned individuals about their addresses, associations, and first amendment activities during the RNC. This raid appears to be part of a series of raids conducted on Wednesday.
“Warrantless raids without consent are unlawful. People should know that they do not have to answer any questions, open the door, or let agents inside their home,” stated Jacqueline Greene, Co-Coordinator for the Ohio NLG. “The Ohio NLG condemns warrantless raids against activists engaged in first amendment activity.”
[NOTE: It is NEVER a good idea to talk to law enforcement without a lawyer present, even if it makes a good video]
In addition, the Ohio Chapter of the NLG has received reports from NLG Legal Observers that over two-dozen individuals were arrested during peaceful demonstrations near East 4th Street and Prospect Avenue. Law enforcement agents used chemical munitions in the tightly-packed crowd, which included both protesters and members of the media. The arrests were precipitated by a flag burning, which is protected First Amendment conduct. Flag burning in furtherance of political speech has been repeatedly declared to be lawful by the courts, including in the Supreme Court of the United States.
“The Ohio NLG is highly concerned about these arrests and the escalation of police tactics against peaceful demonstrators,” stated Jocelyn Rosnick, Co-Coordinator of the Ohio NLG. The Ohio NLG will continue to monitor the situation very carefully, including reports of injuries sustained during aggressive shows of force by law enforcement. The Cleveland Branch of the NAACP has also expressed serious concern with these aggressive tactics employed law enforcement.
NLG Legal Observers have also documented that:
● Many police officers, including Police Chief Williams, are covering their badge numbers making
it difficult to be identified.
● Other officers are failing to wear their body cameras.
● Some police are armed with automatic weapons and others have donned riot gear in response to
If you or someone you know has been arrested, call the Ohio NLG Jail Support Hotline at (216) 5050-NLG (654). If calling collect, dial (216) 496-6819.