FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office said Monday it will not charge Donald Trump or his campaign with inciting a riot at an event Wednesday, when a Trump supporter punched another man at a campaign rally.
McGraw, 78, of Linden, is charged with assault and battery, disorderly conduct and communicating threats for his involvement in the incident.
In a release earlier Monday, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said, “We are continuing to look at the totality of these circumstances, including any additional charges against Mr. McGraw, including the potential of whether there was conduct on the part of Mr. Trump or the Trump campaign which rose to the level of inciting a riot, and including the actions or inactions of our deputies.”
Early Monday evening, the department said it had “reviewed the evidence accumulated and consulted with the detectives involved. The Sheriff’s Office legal counsel advised, and the sheriff concurred, that the evidence does not meet the requisites of the law as established under the relevant North Carolina statute and case law to support a conviction of the crime of inciting a riot.”
The announcement comes a day before Trump competes in the critical North Carolina primaries. Trump leads the Republican field for the nomination and is looking to increase his lead on Super Tuesday.
But Trump’s rallies have become increasingly dramatic. In Fayetteville Wednesday, Rakeem Jones was punched by McGraw as he was leaving.
Jones said he was upset at hearing Trump say “Go home to mom” as he was leaving. Jones’ mother died eight years ago.
“I get real offended by that, even with regular people,” he said.
At the end of the video shared on Twitter, Jones is seen being tackled to the ground.
Sgt. Sean Swain of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office told CBS North Carolina earlier was “a miscommunication at the top of the stairs as to what was going on.” He said Jones tripped at the top of the stairs, but a deputy thought he had assaulted an officer.