Police arrested 17 people Wednesday after a melee broke out during a flag-burning in the streets outside the Republican National Convention. The chaos briefly prevented delegates and members of the media from getting into the Quicken Loans Arena for the night’s proceedings.
During the melee a man tried lighting the American flag on fire. Moments after the flag was set on fire, officers charged in to put it out with an extinguishing spray that some in the crowd thought was pepper spray because of similarities in the design of the canisters and the eye irritation caused by the fire-suppression substance.
“You’re on fire! You’re on fire, stupid!” a Cleveland officer shouted at a protester while firing the extinguishing spray. From there the scene grew out of control as shown in the video:
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