BODYCAM: Officer Fired, Charged for Beating Jaywalker

The leaked video has prompted the chief to offer her resignation

By Calibre Press  |   Mar 9, 2018

From the 

Asheville’s police chief said she will resign if people want her to, in the aftermath of a leaked body-camera video showing one of her former police officers beating a man who was accused of jaywalking.

“I am happy to resign if that will solve the problem,” Chief Tammy Hooper said as hundreds of people expressed their frustration during a Citizen Police Advisory Committee meeting at a local community center Wednesday evening, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

The former officer, Christopher Hickman, was charged Thursday with assault and communicating threats, according to the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office.

The leaked video taken near downtown Asheville shows Hickman, who is white, punching the head of local resident Johnnie Jermaine Rush, who is black, on the night of Aug. 24.

The video begins with Officer Verino Ruggiero warning Rush about repeated jaywalking.

After Rush is given the option of a citation or being arrested, he can be heard cursing out of frustration. Officer Chris Hickman tells Rush to put his hands behind his back. Rush then runs, and Hickman is heard in the video during the chase saying “You are going to get (f*****) up hard core.”

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

All charges against Rush, including assaulting a government official and jaywalking, have been dropped.

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