Patriots from the West Ohio Minuteman, a militia group, went to Cleveland Ohio to be eyes and ears for law enforcement at the RNC Convention.
According to Vice News VICE sent photographer Peter Larson out Monday morning to downtown Cleveland to capture all the weird and contentious stuff that is happening outside of the Republican National Convention. It wasn’t until he thought his day was done and he started to head home that he happened to come across the West Ohio Minutemen. The militia group, which featured a couple of veterans, was hanging out in a parking lot in Ohio City. They agreed to let Larson follow them as they made their way to the heart of downtown Cleveland.
As they walked the streets of Cleveland, the militiamen chatted with cops who simply told them to be safe. Texas delegates fresh from the convention cheered them on. And they told Larson about their mission, which they said had nothing to do with Donald Trump or even the Republican Party. Instead, the group told him they were dedicated to protecting and supporting their community and did not discriminate against race, sex, gender, or anything else.
Although this open-carry demonstration was relatively harmless, Clevelanders and law enforcement have been weary about citizens coming to downtown with arms, given the recent police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge. The Cleveland Police Union even asked the Ohio governor John Kasich for a suspension of open carry during the RNC. Kasich responded by saying that he didn’t have the power as governor to do such a thing.
Despite the fears expressed by some locals over the sight of men walking around with AR-15s, AK-47s, and G3s, what they did is 100 percent legal under Ohio law. And considering they did this on the very first day of the RNC, it’s likely that this isn’t the last open-carry demonstration we’ll see this week.
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