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North Carolina Cop Faces Charges for Allegedly Assaulting a Jaywalker
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Christopher Hickman. Photo courtesy of CNN.

Summary: A North Carolina police officer may face assault charges for tasing a jaywalker.

Last August, a white North Carolina police officer was caught on tape attacking and tasing a black jaywalker, and the officer now faces assault charges, according to CNN.

  
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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.

The footage of Hickman assaulting the jaywalker was caught on his body camera. In the video, Hickman can be seen hitting and tasering the man, Johnnie Rush, 32, who screams, “I can’t breathe!” throughout the assault.

A day after the incident, the Asheville Police Department removed him from patrol duty, and Hickman eventually resigned before he was to be terminated.

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On Thursday, a judge issued a warrant for Hickman’s arrest, and Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer said that he has already been taken into custody.

“The City Council and I immediately contacted city administration to express our outrage at the treatment of Mr. Rush and our outrage of not being informed about the actions of APD officers,” Manheimer stated. “We will have accountability and, above all, transparency.”



The body camera footage was released to the public in late February, and it sparked outrage. In the video, Hickman states after the attack, “I beat the shit out of his head. Not gonna lie about that.”

The state bureau declined to open a probe because the FBI has launched an investigation into the incident, according to a state official.

“The SBI director has discussed this with the district attorney and has declined to open a separate state investigation at this time given that the SBI is already assisting with a federal criminal investigation which will encompass most, if not all, of the issues set forth in the district attorney’s request,” Patty McQuillan, a spokesman for the state Bureau of Investigation said in a statement to ABC News. “A second state investigation would likely duplicate much of the results of the ongoing federal investigation.”

When the footage was released, the ACLU expressed its outrage over the severity of the beating.

“There is no excuse for what happened to Johnnie Rush,” the ACLU of North Carolina tweeted. “Police must protect and serve everyone, regardless of race. Instead, a Black man gets beaten, tased, and choked over jaywalking. That’s right, jaywalking.”

What do you think of Christopher Hickman? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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