Trump says he isn’t responsible for the violence at his campaign events.
A North Carolina sheriff isn’t so sure.
At a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina last Wednesday, a 78-year-old man named John McGraw sucker punched a non-violent protester, 26-year-old Rakeem Jones, in the face.
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office released a statement Monday saying they were investigating the possibility of charging Trump or his campaign with “inciting a riot.”
Our investigation is not complete as [to] the incidents of Wednesday, March 10, 2016. 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.
McGraw later threatened to murder Jones the next time he saw him. “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him,” McGraw said.
At the rally, Trump appeared to glorify violence against protesters:
In the good old days, this doesn’t happen because they used to treat them very, very rough. And when they protested once, you know, they would not do it again so easily. But today, they walk in and they put their hand up, and they put the wrong finger up in the air at everybody, and they get away with murder because we’ve become weak.
According to North Carolina law, “[a]ny person who willfully incites or urges another to engage in a riot, so that as a result of such inciting or urging a riot occurs or a clear and present danger of a riot is created, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
McGraw has already been charged with “assault, battery and disorderly conduct.”
On Sunday, Trump said that McGraw “obviously loves the country” and was looking into paying for his legal defense.