State News

Case continued for man accused of assault at Trump rally

Posted April 6

John Franklin McGraw was arrested Thursday morning and charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

— The white Donald Trump supporter accused of punching a black man being escorted from a Trump rally in North Carolina by sheriff's deputies last month has had his case continued.

John Franklin McGraw, 78, of Linden, briefly appeared in a Cumberland County courtroom Wednesday to answer to charges stemming from the incident. He is charged with assault and disorderly conduct.

Both the defense and the prosecution agreed to the case being continued until July 13.

The judge suggested that McGraw and the man whom the prosecutors say is the victim leave separately to avoid the possibility of conflict. The two men declined to comment, as did McGraw's lawyer.

Video of the punch and the deputies escorting the black man out of the rally was widely viewed and prompted scrutiny over violence at Trump's campaign rallies.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said the man was being escorted out of Crown Coliseum after disrupting the rally, and deputies had their eyes on the stairs when the alleged assault happened.

Five deputies have been disciplined in connection with the incident because the sheriff's office said they witnessed the assault and did not take action. Three of the deputies were demoted and were also suspended without pay for five days. The other two were suspended without pay for three days.


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