During a Donald Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina last week John Franklin McGraw punched a protestor being taken out of the event. He has been charged with assault and Trump is looking into how he can pay for McGraw's legal fees as a defendant.
In the past, Trump has said protestors should be "taken out on stretchers" and that they should be "punched in the face." He's also said he will pay the legal fees of those who choose to engage protestors in a violent, physical manner.
Now, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department is looking into whether Donald Trump should be charged with inciting violence. The news was first reported by local WRAL.
It has also been confirmed by the Washington Post, whose reporter spoke to the Sheriff attorney.
A North Carolina sheriff’s office is investigating whether Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s actions at a Fayetteville, N.C., rally last week “rose to the level of inciting a riot,” according to a statement from the department’s lawyer.
“We are continuing to look at the totality of these circumstances .?.?. 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,” said the statement from Cumberland Sheriff’s Office attorney Ronnie Mitchell. An associate in Mitchell’s office read the statement aloud to a Washington Post reporter.
Under North Carolina law, a riot is “a public disturbance involving an assemblage of three or more persons which by disorderly and violent conduct, or the imminent threat of disorderly and violent conduct, results in injury or damage to persons or property or creates a clear and present danger of injury or damage to persons or property.”
The charge of “inciting a riot” is a misdemeanor, defined this way: “Any 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.”
Here is the full statement from the Sheriff's office:
Here is the full statement from the Cumberland County sheriff's office pic.twitter.com/CHVgiNyWqa— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) March 14, 2016
Additionally, CNN has confirmed and reported on the development. Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson confirmed the investigation in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper this afternoon but the Trump campaign has not released comment.
This post has been updated with additional information.