Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Ex-Asheville cop arraigned on charges he beat man over jaywalking

Ex-Asheville cop arraigned on charges he beat man over jaywalking

The shocking footage, filmed last August and leaked at the end of February, has prompted an FBI investigation, with Asheville Police confirming this week Hickman no longer works there.

Tensions flared at a community meeting in North Carolina on Wednesday, following the release of police dash-cam video from last August.

"I beat the s**t out of his head", Hickman says later to another officer.

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

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.

The pedestrian said he couldn't breathe as Hickman choked him, repeatedly hit him over the head and handcuffed him.

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

Hickman resigned his post in January. "I'm exhausted. I just got off work", Johnnie Rush explained to Officer Hickman after completing 13-hour shift at Cracker Barrel.

According to The Daily Mail, The Citizen-Times newspaper published footage of the attack last week, which came from the body camera footage of one of the officers. The paper also reports five of the seven members of city council it could reach support police chief Tammy Hooper staying on the job.

Rush appears to slow down and stops to confront the officers, who pushed him to the ground.

'All this over you getting a ticket, ' Hickman, who is white, could be heard telling Rush.

The city released the documents after police camera video was given to the Asheville Citizen-Times. Personnel files made public this week showed Hickman turned in his badge and gun the day after the incident, but remained on the force for more than four months until he resigned in January at a meeting where Hooper was preparing to fire him.

Rush then curses, to which Hickman responds by ordering him to put his hands behind his back.

"The SBI director has discussed this with the district attorney and has declined to open a separate state investigation at this time given that the SBI is already assisting with a federal criminal investigation which will encompass most, if not all, of the issues set forth in the district attorney's request", Patty McQuillan, a spokesman for the state Bureau of Investigation said in a statement to ABC News.

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

The FBI were then called to investigate, and Williams hopes that criminal charges will be forthcoming.

Agents have since interviewed Rush as part of the preliminary investigation and will decide whether to launch a full investigation.

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