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


A North Carolina city has asked that all police body camera footage of a white officer beating a black man accused of jaywalking a year ago be released.

District Attorney Williams released a statement on Twitter on Thursday, confirming Hickman, an officer with Asheville Police Department, was charged in the incident.

The statement added that the city council would be calling for an audit of the Asheville Police Department and the staff's decision-making process related to its failure in notifying council members about the incident.

A SBI proclamation again declined to open a different examination, however this time said it was on the grounds that it was helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the situation.

Although the beating occurred in August, the public was not informed of the incident until a source provided the body camera footage to the Citizen Times this week.

Video first published by the Asheville Citizen-Times on February 28 shows Hickman, 31, beating and choking Johnnie Jermaine Rush, who was suspected of jaywalking and trespassing after crossing into a parking lot of a business that was closed at the time.

"I don't care. I just got off of work, man", Rush told the officers.

"I've got two options, I can either arrest you or write you a ticket", Ruggiero says. Video from a body camera worn by Hickman, who is white, shows Rush running away after Hickman's order to put his hands behind his back.

As Hickman ran after Rush, he radioed a dispatcher, saying, "black male, tank top, thinks its amusing". As Rush runs, the officer says, "You know what's amusing is you're going to get f-- up hardcore".

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The video shows Hickman punching Rush in the head repeatedly and then shooting him with a yellow stun gun.

On the day Rush was approached by the officers, he was walking home after the end of his dishwashing shift at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, according to the arrest report.

Rush is shown in the footage being put in the back of a police vehicle and paramedics checking his bloodied face and head.

An arrest warrant for Hickman notes that he struck Rush multiple times, causing abrasions and swelling to his head.

In the video, Ruggiero can be seen telling Rush that he had failed to use a crosswalk four times, to which Rush replies, "All I'm trying to do is go home, man".

Police records show he was charged with second-degree trespass, impeding traffic, assault on a government official and resisting a public officer.

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".

"I am happy to resign if that will solve the problem", Chief Tammy Hooper said as hundreds of people expressed their frustration during a Citizen Police Advisory Committee meeting at a local community center Wednesday evening, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

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