Former Asheville Police Officer Charged For August Beating

Citizens call for change amid use of force investigation at APD

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.

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.

Asheville police boss Tammy Hooper said that she would leave on the off chance that it mitigated shock that has ejected over the video, however her offer comes after there has been trouble discovering somebody to explore the case.

Ruggiero said that he previously warned Rush about jaywalking and told him that he had two options: to either be arrested or receive a ticket.

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

"Motherf--, 4-3 on foot, white male, a black male, white tank top, thinks it's amusing", Hickman says on the video while chasing Rush. "Do what you've got to do, besides keep harassing me", before cursing in frustration.

Police records indicate that Rush was later charged with impeding traffic, second-degree trespass, resisting a public officer, and assault on a government official, though these charges were eventually dismissed.

Video first published by the Asheville Citizen-Times on February 28 shows Hickman, 31, beating and choking Johnnie Jermaine Rush, who was suspected of jaywalking and trespassing after crossing into a parking lot of a business that was closed at the time. "He was looking for opportunities to gain more skills so he could qualify for higher-paying jobs", she said.

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Since then, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer has apologized to Rush in a statement on behalf of the City Council.

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.

Another person asked Hooper what would happen to the person who leaked the video.

Rush told The Citizen Times that the supervisor accused him multiple times of lying. "You're lying. My officer is not going to do that, '" he said.

The two administrative investigations of Hickman, which concluded in December, took several months.

The FBI's investigation is expected to focus on potential civil rights violations. "The issue is because we have been beaten down, we have all be obliterated, we have all been talked to like dogs, like trash, we're not valued and we have no voice in this city".

Although the beating occurred in August, the public was not informed of the incident until a source provided the body camera footage to the Citizen Times this week. "We can be better".

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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