Along with dozens of other cities across the nation, Cleveland, Ohio was the site of originally peaceful protests that turned into violent rioting and destructive looting in the days following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Now, according to Breitbart, the FBI has arrested at least one individual caught on camera participating in the destruction and looting of a Cleveland store known as Colossal Cupcakes on May 30. Twenty-two-year-old Tandre Buchanan Jr. was arrested, according to Breitbart, and faces federal felony charges of interference with commerce by threats or violence.
Law enforcement is reportedly still seeking to identify and apprehend at least three other suspects who participated in the vandalism.
Identified, arrested, and charged
The local Fox 8 reported that the FBI first released images of the four suspects on June 10 with a call to the public for assistance in identifying the individuals. It didn’t take long for the tips to come in; Buchanan was arrested without incident at his place of employment the very next day, according to reports.
Buchanan was easy to pick out of the crowd: he had been wearing a bright orange hoodie and matching sneakers during the unrest on May 30, and was clearly captured on video using a stool to smash out the windows of the cupcake shop while owner Kelly Kandah and her employees sought shelter from the violence in the store’s bathroom, as Breitbart reported.
According to Kandah, everything of value was either destroyed or gone once the incident was over.
“Within approximately 30 minutes of the surveillance photos being disseminated to the public, tips were received identifying Tandre Buchanan, Jr. as the individual in the orange sweatshirt,” unnamed FBI officials said of the incident, according to local media outlet WKYC reported.
“Buchanan violated the rights of a fellow Clevelander by breaking into her business, destroying her property and terrifying her and her employees as they hid inside,” Eric Smith, FBI special agent in charge, added, according to WKYC. “The FBI commends the public and the media for quickly identifying Buchanan in the surveillance photos disseminated. Law enforcement will ensure that those that destroyed parts of our city are held accountable.”
“Marred an otherwise peaceful protest”
A similar sentiment was put forward by U.S. Attorney for the North District of Ohio Justin Herdman, who brought the charges against Buchanan.
“In this case, the complaint alleges that, after rioting began in downtown Cleveland on May 30, this defendant participated in violent activity directed not just at a storefront, but at employees within that establishment,” Herdman said of Buchanan, according to WKYC. He went on:
At this moment, our federal, state and local partners are committed to ensuring that those who wish to exercise their First Amendment rights have a full opportunity to do so, and part of that commitment requires us to hold accountable those who marred an otherwise peaceful protest on May 30.
According to WKYC, at least two other individuals have been arrested by the FBI for other criminal activity that took place in Cleveland during the unrest. Those two reportedly face a four-count indictment that includes firearms and rioting charges.
Unnamed Cleveland city officials told Fox 8 that authorities believe a “large number of individuals” will eventually be arrested and charged for their actions amid the unrest.