This Cop's Behavior At a #BlackLivesMatter Conference Proves We Need the Movement

July 27th 2015

Laura Donovan

A police officer used pepper spray on a crowd outside a Black Lives Matter conference at Cleveland State University over the weekend.

Protesters surrounding the conference were pepper sprayed after expressing frustration with the way police officers approached a 14-year-old boy on a bus that day. According to Cleveland News Net 5, an officer blasted protesters with pepper spray after they blocked the street near his cruiser and refused to let him leave in response to police treatment of the teenage boy. Musician Talib Kweli Greene tweeted over the weekend about the incident. Some Twitter users said the police went after the teen for not having a bus ticket while others said it was because he was drunk.

“They begin to form a barricade around the car urging the police to let the young man go but they wouldn’t and when they were linking arms and doing chants one of the police officers began pepper spraying the whole line,” conference attendee Destinee Henton told The Grio. “They were on the ground covering their faces. He was still spraying them toward the ground so that’s when more people started coming out.”

Warning: the video below contains obscene language.

Officials of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) said in a statement that the teen was "intoxicated to the point where he was unable to care for himself. Police escorted the youth from the bus to a bus shelter on Euclid Avenue at East 24th Street... For the safety of the juvenile, Transit Police moved him from the open shelter area into a police cruiser. The crowd then surrounded the car, and attempted to remove the juvenile from the car. By this time, several other law enforcement agencies had also responded. The crowd kept the police car from leaving the area. A Transit Police officer used a general burst of pepper spray in an attempt to push back the crowd, to no avail."

The police went on to release the teen in the early evening.

This comes shortly after "Orange is the New Black" star Matt McGorry explained why the BlackLivesMatter movement is necessary and that the AllLivesMatter hashtag diminishes the important message behind BlackLivesMatter. McGorry tweeted extensively about both campaigns following the one-year anniversary of Eric Garner's death.

He summarized his tweets in this detailed Facebook post:



Or as some #BlackLivesMatter activists say, it's like going to an AIDS walk and shouting "All Diseases Matter!" Some...

Posted by Matt McGorry on Saturday, July 18, 2015


For more on Eric Garner's story and BlackLivesMatter, watch ATTN:'s video on what has transpired since Garner's death:


It's been one year since Eric Garner's death. Have we moved fo...

It's been one year since Eric Garner's death. Have we moved forward?

Posted by ATTN: on Friday, July 17, 2015