Republicans gather in Cleveland with a fresh focus on law and order

Workers place a sign as they prepare at Quicken Loans Arena for the Republican National Convention, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Workers place a sign as they prepare at Quicken Loans Arena for the Republican National Convention, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cleveland – The shooting deaths of three police officers Sunday in Baton Rouge has changed the tone of the Republican National Convention, heightening tensions in Cleveland as thousands of delegates prepare to nominate Donald Trump.

Monday’s event now carries a new focus – it’s theme is “Make America Safe Again” – as he tries to present himself as the “law and order” candidate. Late Sunday, he declared the U.S. had devolved into a “divided crime scene” and that the Islamic State is delighting in the violence against police. President Barack Obama, he said, “doesn’t have a clue” how to handle the crisis.

The day will bring sharp challenges as thousands of pro-Trump and anti-Trump protesters are set to march around the corner from each other. About a third of Cleveland’s police force is on RNC duty, and reinforcements from across the nation are patrolling the streets to prevent chaos.

At night, Trump will put his showman’s sizzle to the test as the convention he personally helped orchestrate opens with speeches from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is one of the most outspoken critics of the Black Lives Matter protest movement, as well as former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Melania Trump, the candidate’s spouse.

Read more about Cleveland’s preparations for the four-day event here.


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