UPDATED: A sheriff in North Carolina will not file charges against Donald Trump, concluding that the evidence does not “meet the requisites of the law” to support a conviction for inciting a riot.
Earlier on Monday, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said that they were looking into whether Trump’s conduct at the rally in Fayetteville on Wednesday could have risen to the level of inciting a riot.
“With respect to the potential of lodging charges of inciting a riot against Donald J. Trump, or the Trump Committee, we have reviewed the evidence accumulated, and consulted with the detectives involved,” said Sgt. Sean Swain, spokesman for the sheriff. “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.
“Accordingly, we will not be seeking a warrant or indictment against Mr. Trump or his campaign for these offenses. “
He added, “While other aspects of our investigation are continuing, the investigation with regard to Mr. Trump and his campaign has been concluded, and no charges are anticipated.”
North Carolina law says that “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, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
At the event, a protester was “sucker punched” in the face as authorities escorted him out.
John Franklin McGraw was arrested on Thursday, the morning after the rally in Fayetteville, and charged with assaulting Rakeem Jones of Fayetteville, as well as disorderly conduct. After reviewing video, investigators later charged McGraw with communicating threats.
Authorities said that “while reviewing video that was taken at the Crown Coliseum during the event found that McGraw made statements to threatening Jones stating that he enjoyed hitting ‘that loudmouth . . . who was ‘not acting like an American,’ and threatening next time ‘to kill him.'”
A court date has been set for April 6.
At the Fayetteville event, there were multiple disruptions from protesters during Trump’s speech. At one point after one protester was escorted out, Trump said, “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 their wrong finger in the air at everybody. And they get away with murder, because we have become weak.”