Police bodycam footage from an August arrest of a North Carolina Black man shows how he was brutally beaten by officers after they accused him of jaywalking.
The Asheville police department opened an investigation in January to determine if the officer used excessive force during the arrested of Johnnie Jermaine Rush, whom they accused of jaywalking and trespassing after he walked across the parking lot of a business that was closed, reported the Citizen Times.
Footage obtained by the Citizen Times on Wednesday shows Officer Chris Hickman punching Rush in the head while he is being restrained by another officer.
In the video, Rush says multiple times that he can't breathe as he is shocked twice with a stun gun while being forced to the ground.
Hickman resigned in mid-January, according to a memo obtained by the Citizen Times. Police Chief Tammy Hooper confirmed Hickman was no longer with the department.
The incident took place on Aug. 24 when Hickman and then officer in training Verino Ruggiero confronted Rush for not using a crosswalk when he crossed the street. Rush said he was tired and just finished working a 13-hour shift at a nearby Cracker Barrel.
"All I’m trying to do is go home, man. I‘m tired. I just got off work," Rush tells the officers.
Ruggiero says, "I've got two options: I can either arrest you or write you a ticket."
"It doesn't matter to me, man," Rush says. "Do what you have got to do, besides keep harassing me."
Eventually, Rush uses an expletive which results in Hickman instructing him to put his hands behind his back. Rush then takes off running and the officers chase behind him.
"You are going to get (expletive) up hardcore," Hickman says as he pulls out a stun gun.
What follows can only be described as a horrific beating of an unarmed Black man who was just trying to home after working a long day.
After the arrest, Rush was charged with assault on a government official; resisting, delaying and obstructing an officer, trespass and traffic offenses. Those charges were dismissed by the Buncombe County District Attorney's Office on Sept. 18, according to court records.
On Jan. 18, according to the memo obtained by the Citizen Times, Hooper asked an APD officer to initiate a criminal investigation into Hickman's actions.
Hickman was suspected of simple assault, according to police records. The police investigation into Hickman's actions is ongoing, Hooper told the local new site.
(Photo: Citizen Times)
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