CLEVELAND (AP) — Two Pennsylvania men who prosecutors say were carrying fire-starting materials when they were detained in Cleveland during protests over the Minneapolis death of George Floyd have been indicted on federal charges.
Brandon Althof Long, 23, and Devon Poland, 22, both of Erie, face charges that include conspiracy to riot and cause civil disorder.
The men were detained on May 30 in downtown Cleveland, the U.S. Justice Department said in announcing the charges. They were carrying a backpack filled with fire-starting materials, a hammer and spray paint and also had a gun in their car, prosecutors said.
An attorney for Althof Long said on Friday that the government has not produced any evidence that he participated in the rioting or destruction or that he encouraged anyone else to do so. Federal court records don’t indicate whether Poland has an attorney.
Prosecutors said the men were confronted by Cleveland police after a curfew for the downtown area had been imposed as numerous businesses were damaged, merchandise stolen and police cruisers set on fire.
Roughly 100 people were arrested that day in Cleveland during the protests.
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