UPDATED: March 18, 2016 8:30 AM EST:
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said three deputies were demoted and suspended for five days each without pay for their unsatisfactory performance at last week’s rally while the two others 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 Earl “Moose” Butler said.
Video of the incident recorded by bystanders showed deputies pinning the assaulted protester to the ground, prompting social media criticism on why swift action was taken against him instead of his assailant.
SOURCE: The Huffington Post
Violence at Donald Trump rallies is nothing new, but these violent incidents are becoming more common, and what’s worse, Trump seems to condone the actions of his supporters.
Earlier this week at a North Carolina rally, African-American man Rakeem Jones was attacked by a 78-year-old White man as he was being escorted out of the event. To make matters worse, sheriff’s deputies walked right by Franklin McGraw, the man who sucker-punched Jones in the face, and did nothing.
Shortly after being hit, Jones was tackled and thrown to the ground by officers.
Rakeem Jones and friend Ronnie Rouse joined Roland Martin on Friday’s edition of NewsOne Now to discuss the disturbing incident at the Trump rally.
Jones told Martin he attended the rally as a spectator and not a protester, as opposed to the narrative that was being spun saying he was shouting and denouncing Donald Trump. Jones later said attending the rally was part of a “social experiment.”
Jones explained that after a young lady who attended the rally with them said Trump was disgusting, a supporter of the GOP frontrunner exchanged words with her and “then as a result, all of this ensued.”
Rouse said the man, who engaged in a verbal confrontation with the young lady, was using vulgar language and he expected officers to remove the belligerent man from the rally. Instead, sheriff’s deputies approached the group of African-Americans and requested they leave.
Rouse told Martin their group of four, along with another gentlemen who happened to be a reporter for The Washington Post, was escorted out of the event.
According to Jones, as they were making their way up the stairs to exit the event, Franklin McGraw hit him: “I was not expecting it at all. It just happened.”
“The worst part is it happened while I was in police custody,” said Jones.
Rouse said when it happened he was in “complete, utter shock.” The police officers on hand were not shocked. Instead of grabbing McGraw, they grabbed Jones and threw him down on the floor.
When asked about Trump’s reaction to the incident, Jones said, “Trump cheered it on.” Rouse corroborated Jones’ statement, saying, “Donald Trump egged it on. He’s the one that is perpetuating this mob around us.”
Rouse continued, “The moment we started getting escorted out and removed, he (Donald Trump) made sure he focused all attention on us. That is the only reason there is all these cameras pointed at us at this moment, because he is making sure we’re highlighted, he’s pointing us out, and that’s when everyone’s cameras came on.”
Inside Edition caught up with McGraw after the assault, which was captured on cell phone video, and asked him about the incident. The Trump supporter said, “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.” McGraw was later charged with assault.
Watch Roland Martin, Rakeem Jones, Ronnie Rouse, and the heated NewsOne Now discussion of the punching incident at a recent Trump rally in the video clip above.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.