Christopher Hickman, a 31-year-old police officer in Asheville, North Carolina, who resigned in January after being removed from patrol duty last August following body camera footage that showed him beating, choking and then tasering an African-American man over suspected jaywalking, will now face preliminary charges of assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats, according to a CNN report Friday.
Hickman was taken into custody Thursday after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
Body camera footage shows Hickman chasing Johnnie Jermaine Rush for suspected jaywalking. He can be heard later saying he “beat the shit” out of Rush’s head.
“[He] thinks it’s funny,” Hickman also said. “You know what’s funny is you’re gonna get f—ed up hardcore.”
Rush, who was unarmed, can be heard yelling “I can’t breathe.”
The Hill added:
Hickman resigned in January before the department terminated him over the incident. In an interview with local TV station WLOS, Police Chief Tammy Hooper said the footage looked “bad.”
“The whole thing is bad, right? When I watched the video, I had the same reaction as probably you did when you watched it,” Hooper told WLOS. “It’s just a terrible, egregious case. The whole reason around the stop to begin with was just a bad thing from start to finish.”
The North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) condemned the police brutality incident in a tweet, saying there was “no excuse for what happened to Johnnie Rush.”
There is no excuse for what happened to Johnnie Rush. Police must protect and serve everyone, regardless of race. Instead, a Black man gets beaten, tased, and choked over jaywalking. That’s right, jaywalking. #ncpol https://t.co/QO8ipj58O2
— ACLU of North Carolina (@ACLU_NC) March 8, 2018
Christopher Hickman has been charged with Assault by Strangulation, Assault Inflicting Serious Injury and Communicating threats for August 24, 2017 use of force incident. https://t.co/8Ym94OAMT6
— Asheville Police (@AshevillePolice) March 9, 2018