White cop arrested for beating, choking, and Tasing black jaywalker

Body camera footage shows Asheville N.C. officers stop and later beat Johnnie Rush
Body camera footage shows Asheville N.C. officers stop and later beat Johnnie Rush
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10 March, 2018

In a statement, police later apologized to Rush for not providing "fair and respectful service" and characterized Hickman's actions as "unacceptable and contrary" to the department's vision.

A North Carolina cop has resigned following the release of body cam footage showing him beating, choking, and taking a man suspected of jaywalking. After Rush told both officers that they were harassing him, Hickman took it upon himself to punch and tase Rush despite already having him restrained and on the ground. The body camera footage shows Hickman telling Taube that Rush had laughed and taunted the officers, and "wanted to fight", even reaching for Hickman's TASER at one point. Then he yelled at Rush, "You know what's amusing is you're going to get f-- up hardcore on the ground".

"Man, I'm exhausted, I just got off of work, man", Rush told police trainee Verino Ruggiero. When he caught Rush, Hickman electrocuted him at least two times with his service stun gun and began punching him in the stomach and face.

The FBI has also launched an investigation into the incident, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times. "A second state investigation would likely duplicate much of the results of the ongoing federal investigation".

"All I'm trying to do is go home, man".

Hickman's charges stem from an August 24, 2017, incident in which he, along with then officer-in-training Verino Ruggiero, approached Johnnie Jermaine Rush for jaywalking.

As Hickman ran after Rush, he radioed a dispatcher, saying, "black male, tank top, thinks its amusing".

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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. Nor that charges against Rush, disproven by the bodycam video, were dropped.

The administrative investigations revealed Hickman had used excessive force during the arrest and he had engaged in "rude and discourteous behavior" on four other occasions with other members of the public, according to police records.

Asheville's body camera policy requires department technology officers only to review a sampling of body camera footage from officers around the department each month.

Chief Hooper fired Hickman on january 5, according to Jackson. The warrant said Rush lost consciousness when Hickman placed his arm on his throat and applied pressure.

"The community deserves to know that the City takes Hickman's misconduct seriously, and that APD employees who engage in excessive force will be held accountable".

Describing the threat charge, it also notes that Hickman can be heard saying to Rush: "You're going to get f--d up hardcore".

"This is a human rights issue, and Hickman should've been charged from day one", DeLores Venabel, local Black Lives Matter leader, said during the meeting. Hooper chose to terminate him in January, personnel records show, but before she could deliver the news, he notified the department of his resignation, the documents say. "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.


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