North Carolina police officer charged with assaulting jaywalking suspect

10 March, 2018, 01:05 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • FBI investigating incident where white cop tasers, chokes and punches an unarmed black man in the head after he was caught jaywalking and it was caught on video

The announcement, which also said no further comment would be forthcoming, comes days after the Asheville Police Department, where Hickman worked at the time of the alleged assault, submitted the results of its investigation into Hickman's actions.

A white police officer whose body camera recorded him beating a black pedestrian he accused of jaywalking has been arrested on assault charges in North Carolina.

District Attorney Williams released a statement on Twitter on Thursday, confirming Hickman, an officer with Asheville Police Department, was charged in the incident.

The leaked video taken near downtown Asheville shows former Officer Chris Hickman, who is white, punching the head of local resident Johnnie Jermaine Rush, who is black, on the night of august 24.

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". During the ensuing chase, Hickman can be heard yelling, "You are going to get fucked up hardcore", while pulling out his stun gun. "I just got off of work". The FBI is also conducting a criminal investigation of Hickman.

The criminal probe stems from an incident on August 25, 2017, when Hickman and a partner he was training stopped 33-year-old Johnnie Jermaine Rush for allegedly jaywalking in Asheville.

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

"(He) thinks it's amusing", Hickman can be heard saying during the chase. The supervisor didn't immediately review footage of the scene and did not give interview notes to superiors in a timely manner, according to city documents.

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(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.

Rush says several times he can not breathe after being taken to the ground and shocked with a stun gun.

On Sept. 15, 2017, Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams dropped all charges against Rush. Sergeant Taube was disciplined for "unsatisfactory performance" after failing to disclose information she obtained during her interview with Rush and to review body camera footage that day. The city is asking that other police camera video be released to the public to be transparent about what happened.

Chief Hooper fired Hickman on january 5, according to Jackson.

City Councilwoman Sheneika Smith told the New York Times that she recognized Rush from her work with the nonprofit Green Opportunities, which provides job training.

During the arrest, Rush was shocked with a Taser, choked and beaten by Hickman, according to police records. Hickman was charged with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats. "It's hard enough that we can't just throw a piece of technology at it and expect to substantially change police supervision", said Seth Stoughton, who teaches law at the University of SC.

During the meeting, Hooper repeated an apology to the community she first publicly issued on March 1, saying, "I am happy to resign if that will solve the problem".

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