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undergroundnewsroom.com May 27, 2018


Police officer faces charges after beating, choking and tasing suspected jaywalker

10 March 2018, 01:03 | Damon Campbell

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Citizens call for change amid use of force investigation at APD

The warrant against Christopher Hickman was issued by Chief Magistrate D.L. Cowan on charges of assault by strangulation, assault inflictin serious injury and communicating threats, according to a press release from District Attorney Todd Williams. "A second state investigation would likely duplicate much of the results of the ongoing federal investigation".

Rush went on to tell the officers, "You ain't got nothing better to do besides mess with me, and I'm trying to go home?"

This incident again highlights the impunity under which police agencies operate in the United States, where 1,192 people were murdered by the police last year and this year another 228 as of March 7, an average of more than three killings every day.

The conversation was overheard by Ruggiero's colleague, Officer Christ Hickman, who approached the two men and ordered Rush to put his hands behind his back. "Do what you've got to do, besides keep harassing me", before cursing in frustration.

Rush admitted running when he heard Hickman.

Rush says several times he can not breathe after being taken to the ground and shocked with a stun gun.

"I beat the s- out of his head". He was also charged with assault on a government official; resisting, delaying and obstructing an officer, trespassing and traffic offenses.

A Wednesday meeting of a citizen's police advisory board began with Police Chief Tammy Hooper offering a timeline of what she called "a very egregious and violent episode".

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"I am concerned that the public does not presently have access to all of the information necessary for it to judge the City's response to this officer's actions, and that absent that information, this matter will continue to negatively impact the community's perception of its police department and the way which the city responds to misconduct by its employees", Jackson wrote.

The city of Asheville has filed a petition requesting that the Police Department release additional body camera footage from the night of Rush's arrest to provide the public with a "complete picture of the incident". The city is asking that other police camera video be released to the public to be transparent about what happened.

Asheville's body camera policy requires department technology officers only to review a sampling of body camera footage from officers around the department each month.

Video of the encounter shows Rush telling Hickman and a police trainee that he just finished a 13-hour shift at a nearby Cracker Barrel and was stopped by the trainee in the parking lot.

City Councilwoman Sheneika Smith told the New York Times that she recognized Rush from her work with the nonprofit Green Opportunities, which provides job training.

Efforts by ABC News to reach Hickman for comment were not successful.

Describing the threat charge, it also notes that Hickman can be heard saying to Rush: "You're going to get f--d up hardcore". He resigned instead at the beginning of a January meeting where he was scheduled to be terminated. "It's hard enough that we can't just throw a piece of technology at it and expect to substantially change police supervision", said Seth Stoughton, who teaches law at the University of SC.



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