Monday, September 27, 2021

Day 3: Humans of the Republican National Convention

July 21, 2016
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams poses for a photo on July 20, 2016 at Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams poses for a photo on July 20, 2016 at Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio. —
Photo by Carly Geraci | and Carly Geraci The State News

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams

With the RNC in town, Cleveland has been under a microscope. Williams has been the face behind the City of Cleveland during the week, along with Mayor Frank Jackson.

"We are trying to make sure it is safe for everybody, if that results in nobody getting hurt, nobody getting arrested then that's a great day for us and everybody else," Williams said. 

Williams said he was not surprised with the small numbers of arrests in Cleveland this week. 

"I mean, we try to maintain control. Sometimes things get a little hairy, but you know thats what we do, that is why we have these officers," Williams said.

Officer Tyke Harrison 

Austin, Texas Police Department 

"They were probably very smart to have a large show of security or police," Harrison said about the City of Cleveland inviting officers to assist with the RNC. "If you have a lot of presence it is going to be very hard if one wanted to do something out of the ordinary, it may be hard to do that if you have a lot of us around." 

Fact: Harrison plays guitar and said he never thought he would be a cop, but that he would have been a musician.

"I've always wanted to go to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, I had never been," Harrison said. "My buddy and I were able to go one of the first days we got here."

Nick Hallmash

For 20-year-old Hallmash, a Trump supporter, his choice to believe in Trump has had him receive some heated backlash.

“I have gotten negative comments,” Hallmash said. “People send stuff to me like, ‘Oh go F yourself’ and stuff like that.”

Hallmash said speaking out and sharing opinions with the public is the best way to secure your future.

“People, especially Trump supporters that are younger, are really nervous to be able to show their support– especially the ones that are in the university system because of the harassment that they face,” Hallmash said.

Hallmash, a Wisconsin native, said he and a friend traveled to Chicago for Trump’s rally and it has been sort of a journey since.

“There’s no way I was missing the RNC,” Hallmash said.

He said he was happy Trump is able to say things a lot of people now think, regardless of the consequences.

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“I like that he speaks truth to power and he says what a majority of Americans, according to polls, now think,” he said.

Jack and Marta Wood

“The hatred is not productive,” Marta Wood said. “There’s a lot of different types of hatred isn’t there?”

Marta said she and her husband Jack are trying to show people they care and that love can rule out what’s going on in the world.

“There’s a lot of bad going on out there and to offset that we all need to take care of each other,” Marta said.

The pair held up signs that read,”Free hugs,” in downtown Cleveland while protests were going on.

“I think Trump is spreading a lot of hate,” Jack said. “I just can’t deal with that.”

Both agreed that everyone needs love, especially today.

Fact: The couple has been married for 25 years.

They said their message can be summed up in two words: “Reject hatred.”

Warren Thornton

Armed with only a poster, 13-year-old Thornton was seeing crowds chant, “Believe in black justice,” among other things.

“They just want to use it in their own word, to say all lives matter,” Thornton said. “Black people matter too.”

Thornton said he understand the importance of Black Lives Matter and wished other people would too.

When asked what the Black Lives Matter means to him Thornton said, “It means God has given us a gift. He just wants every black person to wake up in this world.”

Thornton said he wants to help black people everywhere.

“It’s my job to let every black person in this world know,” Thornton said. “It’s my power to say that. It’s my job.”

He has ambitious dreams for the future.

“I want to be a pilot, but now since I’m out here doing this, I might be a preacher or something,” he said.


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