Ex-officer charged with assault in beating and Tasering of alleged jaywalker

Ex-officer charged with assault in beating and Tasering of alleged jaywalker

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.

As Hickman ran after Rush, he radioed a dispatcher, saying, "black male, tank top, thinks its amusing". Rush is heard saying: "All I'm trying to do is go home, man".

The FBI investigation, alongside the independent criminal investigation into the case by the Asheville police department, is likely to focus on violations of Rush's civil rights during the incident. "You know what's amusing is you're gonna get fu**ed up hardcore".

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

An arrest warrant for Hickman notes that he struck Rush multiple times, causing abrasions and swelling to his head. The video shows Verino Ruggiero, then an officer-in-training, confronting the 33-year-old Rush for allegedly walking through the parking lot of a business that was closed for the night, and failing to use a crosswalk while crossing the street near a baseball stadium. Police Chief Tammy Hooper also confirmed Wednesday that Hickman was no longer with the department.

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

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".

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The Asheville Police chief put Hickman on desk duty immediately following the beating last August, and he resigned from the force in January after an internal investigation determined he should be fired. Hickman resigned in January.

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.

"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".

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.

Hickman was charged with communicating threats due to that phrase, according to a warrant obtained by the newspaper. The first to speak was DeLores Venable of Asheville Black Lives Matter.

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". 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.

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