Attorney: Cleveland to pay $225K in suit over flag burning

Posted at 1:46 PM, Jun 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-11 13:46:37-04

CLEVELAND (AP) — An attorney for a man arrested at the 2016 Republican National Convention while burning an American flag says Cleveland has agreed to pay his client $225,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed in January 2018 claimed Cleveland police officers used fire extinguishers and took Gregory Lee Johnson to the ground after breaking through a circle of protesters while Johnson set the flag on fire.

Johnson was charged with misdemeanor assault after two associates of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones claimed they were burned. The charges were dismissed.

A Cleveland spokesman says that the city denies liability and that an insurer is paying the settlement.

Johnson's arrest for flag burning at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision invalidating state flag-burning laws.