According to a local media sources and an NBC reporter, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is considering filing charges against Donald Trump and his campaign for inciting a riot.
This was the same rally where Trump supporter John Franklin McGraw was arrested and charged with assaulting a black protester with a sucker punch.
“We are looking 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,” Sheriff’s Office lawyer Ronnie Mitchell told The Fayetteville Observer.
Trump has partaken in violent rhetoric at past rallies as well. As Raw Story points out, at a rally in Miami this past October, Trump explained, “See the first group, I was nice. Oh, take your time. The second group, I was pretty nice,” he said. “The third group, I’ll be a little more violent. And the fourth group, I’ll say get the hell out of here!”
— FayObserver.com (@fayobserver) March 14, 2016
Trump continued his incitement the following month in Birmingham Alabama:
“Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump said. “I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a trouble-maker who was looking to make trouble.”
At a rally in Nevada in February, Trump proclaimed that he’d “punch him in the face,” referring to another protester, adding that he’d pay for the legal fees of anyone who meted out physical justice to disruptors.
[Update: 3/14/16, 1:51pm PST]
According to the Daily Beast, a Cumberland Sheriff’s Office spokesman said in a statement that if Trump’s actions violated the law, “we would have made the charges by now.”
From the Daily Beast:
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says reports suggesting their investigators are considering filing a charge of inciting a riot against Donald Trump are untrue. However, an hour later, the department issued a press release seemingly contradicting its original statement…
One hour later, the department issued a statement, under Swain’s name, saying that “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 enciting a riot.” The Daily Beast left a voicemail for Swain seeking clarification on the contradictory remarks.