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North Carolina Deputies Disciplined for Allowing Sucker Punch at Trump Rally

March 17, 2016  | 

Five Cumberland County (NC) Sheriff's deputies have been disciplined in response to a Donald Trump supporter allegedly sucker punching a protestor at a rally in Fayetteville last week.

The five were escorting the protestor out of the venue on March 9 when video captured the deputies neither protecting the protestor nor arresting the 78-year-old who allegedly threw the punch.

"The actions of the deputies and their failures to act in situations such as that which occurred during the Trump rally at the Crown Coliseum have never been and will not ever be tolerated under the policies of this office," Sheriff Earl Butler said in the statement.

Three of the deputies were suspended for five days without pay and demoted. The other two were suspended for three days without pay for "for unsatisfactory performance and the failure to discharge their duties," the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office told the UPI.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Robert @ 3/17/2016 1:23 PM

I am about to defend the police...
I think this really speaks to the power that the PBA has in some jurisdictions vs. what is right.
1. I feel that the LEOs in this case are probably being punished too severely...however, it is possible they made some stupid statements (or this is a 2nd offense, etc.) that did not make the news. 1 Week seems excessive.
2. Yet you look at the CPD, NYPD and LAPD and see infractions that are much worse...and no discipline..due to PBA interference.
So when are we as a nation going to get to a point where we hold police accountable for their actions (all of the time; not just those incidents on TV)...without over disciplining because the actions were on TV. The discipline should be used to change a behavior....and that is about the only purpose.
If this happened at a local NC vs U of Charlotte football game...would the discipline have been the same??
I think the SDs deserved some discipline, but looking bad on TV should not play into the amount.

Leonard @ 3/17/2016 3:35 PM

@Robert: I think that you are wrong in this case. The officers failed to perform their duties in an unbiased way. They allowed a citizen to sucker punch someone they were escorting out of a political event and instead of taking down the person responsible for the assault, they took down the person who was assaulted. Why did the officers do that? It could have been their political leanings; it could have been they viewed the protester as the greater threat, it could have been racism. The Chief made the decision that the officers actions weren't within standard, that the officers showed a disregard toward the protesters and failed to protect someone in their custody. This Chief decided to hold the officers accountable for their failures and I see nothing wrong with that. Frankly, it doesn't matter how officers are disciplined in other departments, it was HIS department where the standards were violated or ignored. Kudos!!

Manuel @ 3/18/2016 7:39 AM

There is no blame to put on anyone other than the officers unfortunately. In normal situations they would have take the other person into custody as soon as he had finished the punch, instead they focus on the protester and move on past and don't even come back and take him out of the rally

Leonard @ 3/18/2016 8:56 AM

@Robert: You did raise a point that should be expounded upon. When is accountability going to be applied across all departments. The biggest contributor is decentralization and fragmentation. There are over 17K departments across this country (county, city, state, etc). Each one of those departments potentially have differing standards of training, different labor agreements, different standards of accountability. I believe to alleviate these differences, we need to restructure how local LE is organize. We need to standardize across the nation. Perhaps creating system with regional areas of control could ensure consistent behaviors and procedures.

tedb @ 3/18/2016 12:38 PM


Be careful what you wish for...the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany both had nationalized police forces, as do several present-day countries with TRULY oppressed citizens.

Percy @ 3/18/2016 6:56 PM

Do you mean like Canada?

Leonard @ 3/19/2016 12:36 PM

@tedb: I'm not sure if I'm promoting federalization, but there are even varying standards at the state level. Perhaps by having some sort of regional control of departments, we could eliminate situations where communities like Ferguson use their departments as revenue generators, provide more consistent levels of policing by eliminating inconsistent levels of funding by individual communities. Just random thoughts and it would be an interesting discussion.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 3/30/2016 11:14 AM

These Deputies did nothing wrong. I watched the video. The 78 yo punched the protester before the Deputies knew what was happening. Then they arrested him. He went to jail for assault.

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