Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Charges Filed Against Asheville Cop Who Beat, Tased Man for Jaywalking

Charges Filed Against Asheville Cop Who Beat, Tased Man for Jaywalking

The FBI has also launched a criminal investigation.

The public did not know the police chief quietly oversaw an internal investigation and was about to fire the officer when he quit in January. Rush is heard saying: "All I'm trying to do is go home, man".

"We are aware of at least three other incidents where Hickman had some questionable conduct", says Blake.

Body camera film from officer Chris Hickman, who was with his learner Verino Ruggiero, demonstrates that Rush said he was worn out and advised officers to quit annoying him, before the circumstance heightened to a capture for jaywalking and trespassing on a parking area.

Hickman, 31, was charged with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats, according to a release from Buncombe County District Attorney's Office.

In the ensuring altercation, Hickman is seen repeatedly punching Rush in the face, as Rush says, "I can't breathe".

Rush admitted running when he heard Hickman.

He had due to be fired at a January 5 meeting, but quit first. In the body camera footage, Hickman can be seen beating and tasing 33-year-old Johnnie Rush after he was stopped for jaywalking on August 24, 2017. But local outrage hit a peak when the body camera footage leaked late last month, per CNN.

In the video, an officer trainee tells Rush he already warned him about jaywalking, and that he'll have to write him a ticket or arrest him.

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"You think it's know what's amusing, you gonna get f***ked up hardcore...get on the ground", Hicks can be heard yelling.

Town leaders agreed to release personnel information on Hickman that provides more detail on the case after a closed meeting on Monday.

The statement added that the city council would be calling for an audit of the Asheville Police Department and the staff's decision-making process related to its failure in notifying council members about the incident.

Blake characterizes Rush, the victim, as "an incredibly humble grateful man".

An arrest warrant for Hickman notes that he struck Rush multiple times, causing abrasions and swelling to his head.

Hooper also said that she and District Attorney Todd Williams asked the State Bureau of Investigation to initiate criminal charges against Hickman, to which they declined. Currently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been involved in the case.

The video sparked outrage in the community and citizens were questioning the police chief about why the video was withheld from the public for so long.

She emphasized that she reviewed the recording and put Hickman on administrative duty only hours after Rush's arrest, following his complaint.

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