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>> On the eve of the Republican Convention, Cleveland up-armored into a fortress with unprecedented security.>> Destroy our system.>> Officials bracing for potential violence as rival protests begin to descend on the city. Bringing a toxic brew of racial tensions over police use of force and bad bloods stirred by Donald Trump's rhetoric.
But Reuter's Dan Trotta says officials are trying to strike a balance.>> Clevelanders are celebrating this convention. They have a lot of civic pride that they've been able to host this event. However, there's a lot of tension under the surface. They read the news and they can see that there have been a number of disturbing events in recent days, including the shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge.
Police in Cleveland have been trying to maintain a relatively low profile. You see a lot of police on bikes, others on horseback. Cleveland has avoided the type of militarized approach that you've seen elsewhere around the country. At the same time, they're preparing for the worst. The court system is ready to process up to 1,000 arrestees a day.
The hospitals are preparing for 1,000 trauma cases at once, ready to go 96 hours in a row without a break. So even before recent events like Orlando, Dallas, Nice, and Baton Rouge, Cleveland police were preparing a rather robust security platform. Some of the measures are quite evident. Behind me you can see some dump trucks that are blocking the street, so that nobody can ram through as happened in Nice.
Here within the event zone, there are a number of restrictions. Among them, gas masks are prohibited, like this one here. Now some media outlets have attempted to use the courts to allow us to be able to use these in the event police have to fire their tear gas or pepper spray.
I think I'll put this away so as not to provoke our friendly police over here.>> A final combustible element, Ohio law allowing the open carry of firearms. Meaning for the first time at a national convention, protesters could show up with weapons. The police union asked Governor John Kasich for an emergency suspension of the law on Sunday.
Kasich's office quickly responding that he does not have that power.