Officer Charged After Video Showed Him Beating Black Man Accused Of Jaywalking

10 March, 2018, 01:31 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Body camera footage shows Asheville N.C. officers stop and later beat Johnnie Rush

In a statement, police later apologized to Rush for not providing "fair and respectful service" and characterized Hickman's actions as "unacceptable and contrary" to the department's vision.

A North Carolina police beating captured on a bodycam video, of an African-American man walking home after a 13-hour dishwashing shift at Cracker Barrel, has prompted charges against one former police officer, an FBI investigation and outrage within the community - and now - nationally.

Christopher Hickman was charged late Thursday with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats, according to the Buncombe County District Attorney's Office.

Officer Hickman was also charged with a second misdemeanor, for threatening Mr. Rush.

The city of Asheville has filed a petition requesting that the Police Department release additional body camera footage from the night of Rush's arrest to provide the public with a "complete picture of the incident". State investigators say they are working with the FBI to investigate Hickman's behavior.

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Before the newspaper's release on February 28 of that video, showing Officer Chris Hickman tasering and beating Johnnie Jermaine Rush, the state's investigative unit expressed little interest in pursuing the case from august 25, says Casey Blake, the paper's community engagement editor.

(UPDATE Thursday 4:20 p.m) - Asheville city councilman Vijay Kapoor is throwing his support behind police chief Tammy Hooper, who offered to resign in asked at Wednesday night's meeting of the city's citizen police advisory committee.

In the video, Ruggiero can be seen telling Rush that he had failed to use a crosswalk four times, to which Rush replies, "All I'm trying to do is go home, man".

"I don't know if we got a lot of questions answered though about the time frame - when people knew and didn't know", another resident said. Nor that charges against Rush, disproven by the bodycam video, were dropped.

Rush told the Citizen-Times that Hickman used racial slurs against him as he was being treated for his wounds.

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The Asheville police chief put Hickman on desk duty immediately following the beating last August, and he resigned from the force after an internal investigation determined that he should be fired.

Hickman resigned from the department sometime before january 19, according to a memo obtained by the Citizen Times.

During the arrest, Rush was shocked with a Taser, choked and beaten by Hickman, according to police records.

"The community deserves to know that the City takes Hickman's misconduct seriously, and that APD employees who engage in excessive force will be held accountable".

Describing the threat charge, it also notes that Hickman can be heard saying to Rush: "You're going to get f--d up hardcore". The first to speak was DeLores Venable of Asheville Black Lives Matter. He resigned instead at the beginning of a January meeting where he was scheduled to be terminated.

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Of the story, which was picked up by the New York Times and other national outlets, Blake says: "It's a big one for us and it's still developing".

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