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North Carolina Cop Resigns After Beating, Choking, And Tasing Suspected Jaywalker

North Carolina Cop Resigns After Beating, Choking, And Tasing Suspected Jaywalker

By ASHEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT on Publish Date March 7, 2018.

Body camera video showing a black man being Tasered and beaten during a confrontation with two white police officers who accused him of jaywalking has sent shock waves through the western North Carolina city of Asheville, forcing one of the officers to resign, prompting a federal investigation and leading the city's police chief to volunteer to step down.

Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams announced in a press release late Thursday that former Asheville police officer Chris Hickman will face three criminal charges for the August beating of an unarmed black man. Hickman and an officer in training stopped Johnnie Rush for suspected jaywalking and trespassing late on the night of August 24th on Short Coxe Avenue.

At that point, Hickman told Rush, who accused the officer and trainee of harassing him, to put his hands behind his back.

The FBI has launched an investigation into the incident.

The Citizen Times reports Asheville City Attorney Robin Currin filed a petition Monday with Buncombe County Superior Court requesting the release of all footage related to the August arrest of 33-year-old Johnnie Jermaine Rush. As Rush runs, the officer says, "You know what's amusing is you're going to get f-- up hardcore".

Asheville police chief Tammy Hooper said that she would resign if it helped assuage outrage that has erupted over the video, though her offer comes after there has been difficulty finding someone to investigate the case.




"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. "I'm exhausted!" The video then shows Hickman tasering Rush, choking him, beating his skull.

Hickman has been released after posting $10,000 bond and declined to a respond to a reporter while walking out of jail, the Citizen-Times reports. Assault charges against Rush were dropped soon after he filed an excessive force complaint.

After words are exchanged, Rush attempts to flee on foot when Hickman tries to arrest him.

Jackson wrote that Hickman ordered a review of all body camera footage taken by Hickman while on duty. The investigation also found that Hickman had engaged in "rude and discourteous behavior" on at least four other occasions. CBS News was unable to reach Hickman or Rush.

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

"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". The charges detailed Thursday night against Hickman - who resigned from the police force in January - are one count each of assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury, and communicating threats. "If no one would've leaked it [the video] or said something, we would be in the dark". Hooper made a decision to terminate him in January, personnel records show, but before she could deliver the news, he notified the department of his resignation, the documents say.

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