Former Asheville Police Officer Charged For August Beating

Feds investigating Asheville use of force incident

The Asheville police chief put Hickman on desk duty immediately following the beating last August, and he resigned from the force after an internal investigation determined that he should be fired. The incident happened in August 2017, but was only made public last week when the video was leaked to The Asheville Citizen-Times. Rush then runs, and Hickman is heard in the video during the chase saying "You are going to get (f*****) up hard core".

Hickman appeared in court Friday and said he would be retaining a private lawyer, the station reports.

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

The District Attorney of Buncombe County said that a judge has issued a warrant for resigned officer Christopher Hickman, 31, and that he faces counts of assault by strangulation, inflicting serious injury and communicating threats.

Hickman then punches Johnnie's skull multiple times after he raises his head off the ground after complaining he can not breathe.

"(He) thinks it's amusing", Hickman can be heard saying during the chase.

On Monday, the City of Asheville filed a petition in order to have body camera footage in the incident released.

The case became public after The Citizen-Times newspaper published footage last week.

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".

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When they stopped him again, Johnnie loses his temper at the two officers and tells them to stop harassing him for "fucking walking" home after a tiring day at work.

Rush was then tasered twice as he's held on the ground and is choked as he breathlessly tells the cops, "I can't breathe".

In the footage, the officer is seen exiting his vehicle, and after exchanging a few words with Rush, things get heated up, and the officer is seen subduing the victim.

The city released the documents after police camera video was given to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

"You think it's amusing....you know what's amusing, you gonna get f***ked up hardcore...get on the ground", Hicks can be heard yelling.

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

The Police Chief Tammy Hooper reportedly apologized to Rush in front of a crowd on Thursday after the video was released, and called the actions of Hickman "unacceptable".

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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