Deputies Punished After Assault on Protester at Trump’s Rally

Five sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina have been disciplined for failure to act after a black protester was punched by a white supporter of Donald J. Trump at a campaign rally, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday.

Three of the deputies have been demoted and will be suspended without pay for five days for “unsatisfactory performance and failing to discharge the duties and policies of the office of sheriff,” according to a statement released by Sheriff Earl Butler of Cumberland County on his Facebook page. The other two deputies were suspended for three days without pay.

All five were to be placed on probation for the next year, Sheriff Butler said. The names of the deputies were not released.

“The actions of the deputies and their failures to act in situations such as that which occurred during the Trump rally at the Crown Coliseum have never been and will not ever be tolerated under the policies of this office,” Sheriff Butler’s statement said.

The episode occurred on March 9 in Fayetteville, when Rakeem Jones, 26, a protester being escorted out of the rally by officers, was punched and shoved by a Trump supporter in the stands.

Videos of the attack drew wide attention.

In one, two deputies following Mr. Jones up the steps appear to walk by the man who had struck him.

Mr. Jones fell to the ground with four deputies standing over him, two of whom appeared to grab at his arms while another held his leg, before he was led out.

The sheriff’s office arrested John McGraw the next day and charged him with assault and disorderly conduct for the punch. They also charged him with communicating threats for statements made afterward.

“We regret that any of the circumstances at the Trump rally occurred, and we regret that we have had to investigate all of these matters,” Sheriff Butler’s statement said.

Courtesy of New York Times