North Carolina Cop Arrested, Charged With Assault After Being Caught On Video Beating Jaywalker
A North Carolina police officer was forced to resign and is facing assault charges after body camera footage showed him beating and choking an African-American man before tasering him over suspicions of jaywalking.
Christopher Hickman, 31, resigned in January after being removed from patrol duty last August over the incident and will now face preliminary charges of assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats, CNN reported Friday.
Body camera footage of the incident allegedly shows Hickman chasing Johnnie Jermaine Rush, then 32, for suspected jaywalking last August. The footage outraged many in North Carolina as Hickman can be heard in the aftermath saying he “beat the shit” out of Rush’s head.
“He thinks it’s funny,” Hickman is also heard saying during the chase. “You know what’s funny is you’re gonna get f—ed up hardcore.”
Rush, meanwhile, was unarmed and can be heard yelling “I can’t breathe” in distress during the confrontation.
Hickman, who worked for the Asheville Police Department, was taken into custody Thursday after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
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 condemned the confrontation in a tweet, saying there was “no excuse” for the violence.
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
Watch the video of the incident below.