CLEVELAND — Two police officers were punched and pushed, left with minor injuries after a fight broke out at a protest outside of the Republican National Convention, police said Wednesday.
Police arrested 17 people in the skirmish, which started as a demonstrator tried to burn an American flag. The protester lit a flag on fire, "then lit himself on fire, catching others on fire" before firefighters extinguished them, police added.
It took place outside Quicken Loans Arena, the convention venue where Donald Trump is expected to accept the GOP presidential nomination on Thursday night.
The arena's entrance on E. 4th St. and Prospect Avenue, the area where the fight broke out, was temporarily closed by authorities shortly after 4 p.m.
Media and police had a heavy presence around the fight, like they have for many protests this week. Officers on bicycles formed a blockade, and others on horseback patrolled the area.
Police said the media presence "is making it difficult for law enforcement officers to police demonstrations."
Protests so far outside the convention have been largely peaceful. Police said 22 people have been arrested since it started.