City of Cleveland Presidential Debate Updates: Prohibited Items & Call to Report Suspicious Activity

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The City of Cleveland Board of Control this week approved an extensive list of prohibited items in the Presidential Debate event zone. The event zone is designated as East 79th Street to Stokes Boulevard and Hough to Cedar Avenue surrounding the Cleveland Clinic main campus. The newly passed regulations go into effect on Sept. 28 at 12:01 a.m. and end at 6 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2020. The debate is scheduled for the evening of Sept. 29.

The following items prohibited in the public spaces – such as streets and sidewalks – of this area include:

  • Lumber larger than 2” in width and ¼” thick, including supports for signs;
  • Metal, plastic, or other hard material larger than ¾” thick and 1/8” in wall thickness including pipe and tubing;
  • Any air rifle, air pistol, paintball gun, blasting caps, switchblade or automatic knife, knife having a blade two and one-half (2-1/2) inches in length or longer, cestus, billy, blackjack, sword, saber, hatchet, axe, slingshot, BB gun, pellet gun, wrist shot, blackjack, metal knuckles, nun chucks, mace, iron buckle, axe handle, shovel, or other instrumentality used to cause property or personal damage;
  • Any dangerous ordinance, weapon, or firearm that is prohibited by the laws of the State of Ohio;
  • Any explosives, explosive device, or incendiary device;
  • Fireworks and rockets;
  • Sound Amplification Equipment;
  • Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems;
  • Containers of bodily fluids;
  • Aerosol cans;
  • Mace, Pepper Spray or other chemical irritant;
  • Umbrellas with metal tips;
  • Any projectile launchers, such as water guns and water cannons;
  • Rope, chain, cable, strapping, wire, string, line, tape, or any similar material, in greater than 6’ lengths;
  • Glass bottles, ornaments, light bulbs, ceramic vessels, and anything else frangible, regardless of whether the container holds any substance;
  • Locks including, without limitation, padlocks, bicycle locking devices, chain locks, or similar devices, but not including:  (i) an integral component of a conveyance or structure; (ii) locks when utilized by the owner of private real property to secure permanent or temporary fencing; or (iii) locks attached to a bicycle;
  • Tents and other shelters, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, mattresses, cots, hammocks, bivy sacks, or stoves;
  • Coolers or ice chests;
  • Backpacks and bags exceeding the size of 18” x 13” x 7”;
  • Lasers;
  • Non-plastic containers, bottles, cans, or thermoses;
  • Ladders;
  • Grappling hooks, sledgehammers, hammers, and crowbars;
  • Canned goods;

Law enforcement will work diligently and cooperatively to ensure the safety and security of all residents of and visitors to the City of Cleveland both in the event zone and throughout the city’s neighborhoods on Sept. 29, 2020.  The City of Cleveland recognizes citizens’ First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful demonstration and will support those who choose to voice their opinions in a lawful manner. Violence and illegal activity will not be tolerated. Members of the public are invaluable partners to law enforcement as they are our eyes and ears. If you see something, say something.

Report illegal and suspicious behavior to police.  Information and crime tips can be provided to Crimestoppers by calling 216-25-CRIME.

City of Cleveland to Receive Support from Ohio National Guard

The Cleveland Division of Police has a security plan in place for the presidential debate as is the case for all planned large scale events. In accordance with the security plan created specifically for this event, Mayor Frank G. Jackson reached out to Governor Mike DeWine to request the assistance of the Ohio National Guard. Governor DeWine granted approval of the deployment of the Ohio National Guard to ensure the safety of the residents of and visitors to the City of Cleveland during the course of the upcoming event.

About the City of Cleveland

The City of Cleveland is committed to improving the quality of life of its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play, and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at, Twitter at @cityofcleveland, Facebook at, or on our blog at