A Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority police officer let loose pepper-spray into a crowd after the crowd surrounded a police cruiser holding a boy in custody, according to an RTA statement.
The incident happened about 4:40 p.m. Sunday near a bus shelter on Euclid Ave at East 24th Street during the Movement for Black Lives national conference.
Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media.
According to the RTA, "officers on routine patrol peacefully removed an intoxicated 14-year-old male from a bus. Police said the juvenile was intoxicated to the point where he was unable to care for himself."
Police then escorted the boy to the bus shelter, where officers intended to collect information before taking him to police headquarters where he would have been released to a parent or guardian, according to the statement.
This how we treat our citizens? WATCH officer pepper spray peaceful #M4BL attendees pic.twitter.com/J6J0iISXiR @flotus @potus @lorettalynch— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) July 26, 2015
A crowd gathered near the scene within minutes, so officers put the boy in the back of a cruiser for his safety, the statement said.
"The crowd then surrounded the car, and attempted to remove the juvenile from the car," the statement said. "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 boy was then taken to nearby paramedics and was eventually released to his mother about 5:45 p.m., according to the statement.
RTA officials are investigating the incident. It is unclear if any members of the crowd were injured.
The Movement for Black Lives national conference, which was held this weekend at Cleveland State University, meant to draw attention to police brutality and race relations.There is no reason for a white person to be a cop anymore; daring to uphold law and order (or help a 14-year-old black kid whose under the influence of alcohol) will get your surrounded by blacks prepared to remind the country #CopLivesDontMatter.