Five Fayetteville, North Carolina, deputies have been suspended for allegedly failing to act during a Donald Trump rally earlier this month. The department charges were levied after a young black protester was reportedly hit in the face by a 78-year-old white man after a disruptive incident by anti-Trump attendees.
Cumberland County Sheriff Earl Butler told the press that two deputies were suspended for three days without pay and three deputies were suspended for five days without pay and demoted over the Fayetteville Donald Trump rally incident. All five of the North Carolina deputies were also placed on probation for a year.
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) March 10, 2016
After the video of the altercation between the black protester and the elderly white man was published online, it came to Sheriff Butler’s attention and an investigation was launched. The now-viral video shows the protester being led out of the Donald Trump rally by Fayetteville deputies when a man in a cowboy hat allegedly hit the man in the face with a hand, fist, or elbow.
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The North Carolina deputies stated during the investigation that their eyes were on the steep and crowded stairway when the incident occurred.
The black protester has been identified as Rakeem Jones, the Washington Post reports. The unpleasantries were plentiful as Jones was removed from the North Carolina arena where the Donald Trump rally was being held. Jones flipped his middle finger at the crowd as they booed him.
Rakeem “Jones said he wasn’t sure why..: “I got hit and then I was on the ground after I got hit”
— Mike Oakenshield (@myecoll) March 11, 2016
John Mcgraw, the 78-year-old Donald Trump supporter, was arrested and ultimately charged with disorderly conduct, U.S. News and World Report notes.
— Mark F. (@immigrant4trump) March 10, 2016
“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 Earl Butler stated in a media release. “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.”
The North Carolina sheriff also said his deputies were being disciplined for “unsatisfactory performance” as well as a failure to “discharge the duties and policies” of the law enforcement department.
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) March 9, 2016
When deciding how to discipline the five deputies for the incident at the Crown Coliseum, Sheriff Butler noted that he took the work record and past exhibition of bravery of the men into consideration. According to the Cumberland County Sheriff, all of the suspended deputies have a history of “exemplary conduct.” Some of the men who were ordered off the job temporarily were tasked with working a 2014 “killing spree” which occurred in their county.
Rakeem Jones had this to say about the altercation at the Donald Trump rally.
“Boom, he caught me. After I get it, before I could even gain my thoughts, I’m on the ground getting escorted out. I thought I was being arrested. I saw, later on, that [McGraw] went back to his seat so I am trying to figure out why was he able to go back to his seat.”
What do you think about the Rakeem Jones and John McGraw incident at the North Carolina Trump rally? Should the five Fayetteville deputies have been suspended and demoted?
[Photo by AP Photo/Paul Sancya]