A North Carolina police officer recorded beating a black man stopped for jaywalking now faces criminal charges.
At that point, Hickman told Rush, who accused the officer and trainee of harassing him, to put his hands behind his back.
Body camera footage from officer Chris Hickman, who was with his trainee Verino Ruggiero, shows that Rush said he was exhausted and told officers to stop harassing him, before the situation escalated to an arrest for jaywalking and trespassing on a parking lot. State investigators say they are working with the FBI to investigate Hickman's behavior.
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The criminal probe stems from an incident on august 25, 2017, when Hickman and a partner he was training stopped 33-year-old Johnnie Jermaine Rush for allegedly jaywalking in Asheville. Then he yelled at Rush, "You know what's amusing is you're going to get f-- up hardcore on the ground". Police Chief Tammy Hooper also confirmed Wednesday that Hickman was no longer with the department.
"I beat the s**t out of his head", Hickman says later to another officer.
The video begins with Officer Verino Ruggiero warning local resident Johnnie Jermaine Rush about repeated jaywalking.
A supervisor who responded to the scene on the night of Rush's arrest was disciplined for unsatisfactory performance after failing to immediately disclose all the details gleaned from interviewing Hickman and Rush, and neglecting to view the body camera footage that day.
The pedestrian said he couldn't breathe as Hickman choked him, repeatedly hit him over the head and handcuffed him. Nor that charges against Rush, disproven by the bodycam video, were dropped.
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Police already launched an investigation into the incident in January in order to determine whether the officer used excessive force while arresting the black man accused of jaywalking and trespassing.
"Motherf--, 4-3 on foot, white male, a black male, white tank top, thinks it's amusing", Hickman says on the video while chasing Rush.
Hooper also ordered a review of more than 58 hours worth of footage from Hickman's body-camera, which "revealed four other instances where Hickman displayed discourteous and rude conduct to members of the public".
Asheville police finished an administrative probe in December, concluding that Hickman should be fired.
The city did not provide contact information for Hickman. He was charged with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats. He resigned instead at the beginning of a January meeting where he was scheduled to be terminated.
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"Asheville has an issue where we place value on certain people and we devalue other people based on their race, their politics, their economic situation or their placement within Asheville", Smith said.