Former Top Law Enforcement Official Charles Ramsey Warns of Inevitable Political Convention Clashes; says ‘We Are Sitting on a Powder Keg’

The former chairman of a White House policing task force said Sunday that clashes at the upcoming national political conventions may be unavoidable because of an increasingly divisive racial and political climate that has placed the country on edge.

Former Philadelphia Police commissioner Charles Ramsey, who led President Obama’s effort to improve national law enforcement relations in the aftermath of the 2014 civil unrest that followed the police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., said on NBC’s Meet the Press that he feared authorities may not be able to totally prevent violence with thousands of protesters poised to descend on Cleveland and Philadelphia in the next two weeks.

“I don’t think they are going to go without some incident taking place,’’ Ramsey said, describing the convention security efforts as “very, very challenging.’’

“We are sitting on a powder keg,’’ Ramsey said.

Ramsey’s comments came as the country continues to reel from an extraordinary succession of violent incidents involving police in the past week, capped by the deadly ambush of five Dallas-area police officers Thursday that shattered a peaceful demonstration of police shootings that left two African-American men dead in Louisiana and Minnesota.

On Saturday, thousands of people across the country took to the streets to demonstrate against police shootings. In Minnesota, police used smoke to disperse protesters who had shut down Interstate 94. Hundreds more marched in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Nashville and Indianapolis.

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Source: USA Today | Kevin Johnson

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