Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Former Asheville Police Officer Charged For August Beating

FBI involved in NC police officer beating a black man 832018 'I Can't Breathe!' Police Beating of Black North Carolina Man Draws Outrage
Ray Hunter | 11 March, 2018, 03:00

State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Patty McQuillan said in an email Wednesday that an FBI criminal investigation was launched into the actions of Asheville police officer Christopher Hickman on august 25, 2017.

He resigned from the force, but it wasn't until four months later that he resigned at a meeting where the police chief was preparing to fire him.

North Carolina police are now focused on who exactly leaked the footage of the incident that took place August 2017, with Asheville police Chief Tammy Hooper telling the Asheville Citizen-Times that it's release was illegal. Rush then runs, and Hickman is heard in the video during the chase saying "You are going to get (f*****) up hard core".

"He never went back on the streets", she said of Hickman, before her remarks were cut short by audience interruptions.

Asheville PD officer Chris Hickman's own camera films him whacking Johnnie Jermaine Rush's head off the ground moments after the latter accused cops of harassing him. Hickman was charged with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats. As Rush is being restrained on the ground, Hickman hits him in the head several times, shoots him with a stun gun and chokes him.

The video showed Hickman and a trainee stopped Rush for jaywalking.

Hooper met with Hickman on january 5 with plans to fire him, but Hickman resigned first.

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On Monday, the City of Asheville filed a petition in order to have body camera footage in the incident released. After public outrage, the city's police chief says she may resign.One officer has left the force. According to the footage, Rush claims he was coming from work when the officers arrested him.

Asheville's mayor and City Council complained that they didn't know about the case until the video was published.

After making the arrest, Hickman can be heard taunting Rush as he places him in the back of the police vehicle. "I'm exhausted", Rush tells the officer. Thinks it's amusing. You know what's amusing, is you going to get f--ed up hard core.

Attorney James Ferguson, of Ferguson, Chambers & Sumter, is representing the beating victim, Johnnie Jermaine Rush.

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

Ferguson told Carolina Public Press on Friday that the firm is investigating the details of the case and a lawsuit against the city of Asheville is "in the mix" as the firm consults with its client.

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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