FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A North Carolina sheriff has suspended five deputies for their actions at a Donald Trump rally in which a black man being escorted from the event was allegedly assaulted by a white man in attendance.
A statement from Cumberland County Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler on Wednesday said three deputies were demoted and suspended without pay for five days. Two other deputies were suspended for three days without pay, and all five were put on probation for 12 months.
“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,” Butler said in a statement.
Butler launched an investigation after a video showed a man with a cowboy hat hitting a black man being led from the arena by deputies March 9. Officials said the deputies had their eyes on the stairs when the man was hit.
“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. Yet, it is our duty and responsibility to do justice, and to carefully examine not only the actions of others, but our own actions to ensure that the law and our policies are justly and fairly enforced based in principle and without other influences,” Butler said.
Authorities charged a 78-year-old John Franklin McGraw with assault, disorderly conduct and communicating threats with assault and disorderly conduct.
McGraw told an interviewer the next time he confronted a protester, “We might have to kill him.”
Authorities said Tuesday they would not be charging Trump or his campaign with “inciting a riot” for the violent altercation.
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