North Carolina officer charged with assaulting black jaywalking suspect

RALEIGH, N.C. — A white police officer whose body camera recorded him beating a black pedestrian he accused of jaywalking has been arrested on assault charges in North Carolina.

Christopher Hickman was charged late Thursday with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats, according to the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office. A phone listing for Hickman had a full inbox that wouldn’t take messages Friday.

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. Still, the case remained a secret until the recording was leaked to the local newspaper and published last week, sparking community outrage. The FBI is now investigating.

The camera recorded Hickman saying “he’s not learning!” before a trainee confronts Johnnie Jermaine Rush for jaywalking. Hickman first told the trainee to write him a ticket, but then told Rush to put his hands behind his back after Rush complained that officers didn’t have anything better to do than “harass somebody” for walking.

Rush then tried to run and Hickman brought him down, repeatedly punching him in the head, the video shows. Hickman also struck him and shocked him with a stun gun and put him in a chokehold, according to city documents.

An arrest warrant for Hickman notes that he struck Rush multiple times, causing abrasions and swelling to his head. The warrant said Rush lost consciousness when Hickman placed his arm on his throat and applied pressure.

Describing the threat charge, it also notes that Hickman can be heard saying to Rush: “You’re going to get f—-d up hardcore.”

Officers charged Rush with impeding traffic and resisting arrest, but the charges were dropped. In the recording, made as the streets were deserted, Rush said he was just …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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