Officer Charged After Video Showed Him Beating Black Man Accused Of Jaywalking

Feds investigating Asheville use of force incident

A North Carolina police officer recorded beating a black man stopped for jaywalking now faces criminal charges.

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.

Johnnie Jermaine Rush recalled his encounter with Officer Chris Hickman and Verino Ruggiero, his colleague which took place on the night of the 24 of February.

The city also filed a petition Monday asking for more body-camera recordings of the incident to be released on belief that doing so "is necessary to provide the public with full disclosure of the circumstances surrounding the arrest" and "to provide the public with all relevant information to understand the events that transpired". Then he yelled at Rush, "You know what's amusing is you're going to get f-- up hardcore on the ground".

At one point Rush attempts to run, and Hickman says "You know what's amusing is you're going to get f--ed up hardcore".

Hickman was forced to resign in January and is now under criminal investigation for second-degree assault.

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Wednesday that it had opened an investigation of Hickman's actions, Ruggiero is reportedly not being investigated in connection with Rush's beating and arrest.

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

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.

Rush admitted running when he heard Hickman.

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

A Wednesday meeting of a citizen's police advisory board began with Police Chief Tammy Hooper offering a timeline of what she called "a very egregious and violent episode".

On Sept. 15, 2017, Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams dropped all charges against Rush.

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.

Efforts by ABC News to reach Hickman for comment were not successful.

Following an SBI investigation, Hickman resigned, and will probably be charged later this year. 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. He said 58 hours of footage was reviewed and "revealed four other instances where Hickman displayed discourteous and rude conduct to members of the public".

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.

Describing the threat charge, it also notes that Hickman can be heard saying to Rush: "You're going to get f--d up hardcore". The first to speak was DeLores Venable of Asheville Black Lives Matter. Hooper was asked whether she would do the same at last night's meeting, and she responded by saying she'd resign if people thought it would fix the problem. "If no one would've leaked it [the video] or said something, we would be in the dark".

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