Head of Cleveland Police Union Calls for Ban on Open-Carry of Guns at GOP Convention

CLEVELAND (Reuters) -
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers walk outside of Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Sunday, as preparations take place for the Republican National Convention. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers walk outside of Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Sunday, as preparations take place for the Republican National Convention. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The head of the Cleveland police union on Sunday urged Ohio’s governor to declare a state of emergency and to suspend laws allowing the open carrying of firearms during the Republican National Convention, after the fatal shooting of police officers in Louisiana.

“I don’t care what the legal precedent is, I feel strongly that leadership needs to stand up and defend these police officers,” Steve Loomis, the head of the police union, told Reuters in an interview at the union’s headquarters on Sunday. The four-day convention is due to begin on Monday.

However, in response, Ohio Governor John Kasich’s office said that the governor lacks the authority to suspend the laws.

“Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested,” said Kasich spokeswoman Emmalee Kalmbach.

She added: “The bonds between our communities and police must be reset and rebuilt – as we’re doing in Ohio – so our communities and officers can both be safe. Everyone has an important role to play in that renewal.”


Updated Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 6:50 pm