FBI Cleveland
Public Affairs Officer Susan Licate
June 12, 2020

Officials Announce the Arrest of Tandre Buchanan, Jr.

The Cleveland Division of the FBI, along with the United States Attorney’s Office—Northern District of Ohio, the Cleveland Division of Police and Cuyahoga County Crime Stoppers, announce the arrest of Tandre Buchanan, Jr., age 22.

On Saturday, May 30, 2020, numerous businesses and properties in downtown Cleveland suffered significant property damage and looting, among other criminal violations. Law enforcement has been requesting and reviewing digital media that captured the criminal activity from various sources.

On June 10, 2020, a press release with surveillance photos of four unidentified suspects was disseminated to the media seeking information from the public on the identity of these four individuals. 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.

A federal arrest warrant for interference with commerce by threats or violence was obtained for Buchanan, Jr. and was executed on June 11, 2020. Buchanan, Jr. was placed into custody without incident by agents at his place of employment in Garfield Heights. Buchanan, Jr. will have an initial appearance in United States Magistrate Judge Greenberg’s court today, June 12, 2020.

Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith said, “The FBI’s mission is to uphold the Constitution, which includes freedom of speech and the right to assemble. Tandre Buchanan, Jr. crossed the line of what was supposed to be a peaceful protest in Cleveland on May 30th and engaged in criminal activity. 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. 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.”

“Our solemn obligation as federal prosecutors is to be faithful to the law, and where we have evidence that the law has been violated, we weigh the circumstances to determine whether federal charges are appropriate,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “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. 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.”

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Division of Police Chief Calvin Williams said, “The City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Division of Police continue to respect citizens’ First Amendment rights to Free Speech and Assembly. As long as demonstrations are held without violence and destruction, the City will support these events. On May 30, 2020, as peaceful demonstrations turned into violence, our downtown area was vandalized and burned, causing excessive damage to many businesses. The Cleveland Division of Police, in partnership with multiple law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, will continue to pursue those responsible for the violence and damages. Law enforcement will continue to request the help of the public to identify the perpetrators via the release of images and videos to news outlets and through the use of social media. We anticipate a large number of individuals to be charged and arrested for criminal acts committed on May 30, 2020.”

Tips regarding individuals involved in criminal activity during the civil unrest on May 30th in downtown Cleveland can be provided to the Cleveland Division of Police, the Cleveland FBI, or Crime Stoppers.

A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

For questions regarding this press release, please contact SA Vicki Anderson at 216-522-1400 or at vagregg@fbi.gov.