5 Deputies Suspended After Trump Rally

They failed to act when protester was punched
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2016 1:17 AM CDT
5 Deputies Suspended After Trump Rally
Protesters are removed as Trump speaks during the Fayetteville, NC, rally.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Five deputies in Fayetteville, NC, are paying the price for failing to act when a protester was punched during a Donald Trump rally. The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office says the five officers—who tackled protester Rakeem Jones instead of the man who sucker-punched him as he was led out of the Crown Coliseum—have been reprimanded and placed on probationary status for a year for "unsatisfactory performance and failing to discharge the duties and policies" of the department, ABC News reports. Three of them were demoted in rank and suspended without pay for five days, while another two were suspended for three days.

"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 Moose Butler said, per the Fayetteville Observer. He said that when deciding the punishment, his office took into account the "past bravery and exemplary conduct" of the deputies. John McGraw, 78, has been charged with assault and disorderly conduct for allegedly punching Jones. Earlier this week, the sheriff's office decided not to charge Trump with inciting a riot by making inflammatory statements at the March 9 rally. (Trump has warned of riots if he loses the GOP nomination.)

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