Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Former Cop Accused Of Beating, Using Taser On Jaywalker

Former Cop Accused Of Beating, Using Taser On Jaywalker

The FBI has opened an investigation into a Asheville, North Carolina police beating after body cam footage was leaked to a local newspaper.

Body camera footage from officer Chris Hickman, who was with his trainee Verino Ruggiero, shows that Rush said he was exhausted and told officers to stop harassing him, before the situation escalated to an arrest for jaywalking and trespassing on a parking lot. Hickman also struck him and shocked him with a stun gun and put him in a chokehold, according to city documents. The city of Asheville has filed a petition with Buncombe County Superior Court for the formal release of police video, including the one leaked to the (Asheville) Citizen-Times and others not yet publicly released.

Hickman was removed from patrol duty a day after the incident and resigned from his position with the Asheville Police Department in January before he was expected to be terminated, a timeline reported by the Asheville City Council revealed.

Rush, who suffered severe bruising as a result of the incident, screams "I can't breathe" after being tasered and pinned to the ground.

Hickman was shown on body camera footage subduing and punching 33-year-old Johnnie Jermaine Rush after officers accused Rush of crossing outside of a crosswalk. Before they can ticket him, Rush runs off, prompting Hickman to chase and tackle him.

After Rush is given the option of a citation or being arrested, he can be heard cursing out of frustration.

District Attorney Todd Williams announced Thursday night that former officer Chris Hickman, 31, is facing charges of felony assault by strangulation, and misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats.

Hickman shouts "Motherfucker" as he chases, saying "You know what's amusing, you're going to get fucked up hardcore" as he continues to pursue Johnnie.

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

The FBI is investigating a North Carolina police officer for the bloody beating of a pedestrian he accused of jaywalking. Police Chief Tammy Hooper did not try to defend Hickman's behavior and admitted her department is under scrutiny. In the video, Hickman states after the attack, "I beat the shit out of his head".

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

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.

Rush said in a later interview that he then stopped.

Hooper echoed Williams' statement and added that it was "unlawful" to release the footage and an investigation may be launched, reports Citizen Times.

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