Prominent civil rights law firm considers lawsuit in Asheville police beating

11 March, 2018, 03:01 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Body camera footage shows Asheville N.C. officers stop and later beat Johnnie Rush

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

The horrifying video, obtained by the Citizen Times, sees Jermaine confronted by the North Carolina PD officers after being warned about jaywalking and "trespassing" across the parking lot of a closed business.

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

A day after the incident, the Asheville Police Department removed him from patrol duty, and Hickman eventually resigned before he was to be terminated.

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".

After words are exchanged, Rush attempts to flee on foot when Hickman tries to arrest him.

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.

"Damn you ain't got s**t to do besides harass somebody about f***g walking", complained Rush.

Hickman resigned his post in January.

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

State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Patty McQuillan said in an email Wednesday that an FBI criminal investigation was launched into the actions of Asheville police officer Christopher Hickman on August 25, 2017.

Once Hickman and another officer caught up to Rush, they slammed him into the ground and started hitting him.

Also in attendance was Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper who spoke on moving past the incident.

The footage shows an officer punching a man in the head and tasing him while he's on the ground.

The person on foot said he couldn't inhale as Hickman stifled him, a couple of times hit him over the head and bound him.

Attorney James Ferguson, of Ferguson, Chambers & Sumter, is representing the beating victim, Johnnie Jermaine Rush.

The FBI and the state investigators are both looking into the case.

An investigation from the FBI, which comes in addition to a criminal investigation by the Asheville police of their own officer, will likely focus on violations of Rush's civil rights.



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