Five policemen suspended over assault at Trump rally

Rakeem Jones, who was struck in the attack, said: "I applaud the sheriff's department for their work and finding the deputies responsible"

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, face off with protesters after a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago was cancelled due to security concerns. Image: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP/Press Association Images

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, face off with protesters after a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago was cancelled due to security concerns. Image: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP/Press Association Images

Five North Carolina policemen have been suspended because they did not take immediate action when a protester was assaulted at a Donald Trump rally.

A statement from Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said three deputies had been demoted and suspended without pay for five days.

Two other deputies were suspended for three days without pay. All five have been put on probation for a year.

The punishment comes after footage went viral of a white man in a cowboy hat striking a black man who was being led from the arena by deputies in Fayetteville on 9 March.

Sheriff Butler said in a statement: "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 never be tolerated under the policies of this office."

Officials said the deputies had their eyes on the stairs when the man was hit.

John Franklin McGraw, 78, was charged the next day with assault and disorderly conduct.

Rakeem Jones, who was struck in the attack, said: "I applaud the sheriff's department for their work and finding the deputies responsible."