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Police officer faces charges after beating, choking and tasing suspected jaywalker

Police officer faces charges after beating, choking and tasing suspected jaywalker

Police body camera video published by the Asheville Citizen Times on Wednesday has caused widespread public outcry over the beating and torture of an African American man accused of jaywalking and trespassing in a vacant parking lot in Asheville, North Carolina a year ago by white police officers.

Rush admitted running when he heard Hickman.

The camera footage also shows Hickman hitting Rush on the head over and over with a closed fist, and Rush crying out in pain as he is shocked with a Taser.

When Smith first saw the video, she said she was "immediately disturbed". Smith described Rush as hardworking and eager to learn, with an interest in construction and carpentry.

On the day Rush was approached by the officers, he was walking home after the end of his dishwashing shift at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, according to the arrest report.

"He was looking for opportunities to gain more skills so he could qualify for higher-paying jobs", Smith said of his time at Green Opportunities. He was also charged with assault on a government official; resisting, delaying and obstructing an officer, trespassing and traffic offenses.

Asheville police chief Tammy Hooper said that she would resign if it helped assuage outrage that has erupted over the video, though her offer comes after there has been difficulty finding someone to investigate the case.




The statement added that the city council would be calling for an audit of the Asheville Police Department and the staff's decision-making process related to its failure in notifying council members about the incident.

It didn't take long for anger and frustration to surface at a meeting of Asheville's Citizen Police Advisory Committee.

"I am concerned that the public does not presently have access to all of the information necessary for it to judge the City's response to this officer's actions, and that absent that information, this matter will continue to negatively impact the community's perception of its police department and the way which the city responds to misconduct by its employees", Jackson wrote.

The two administrative investigations of Hickman, which concluded in December, took several months.

Rush told the Citizen Times that he then stopped, before being tackled to the ground by the officers. The city is asking that other police camera video be released to the public to be transparent about what happened. Hooper chose to terminate him in January, personnel records show, but before she could deliver the news, he notified the department of his resignation, the documents say.

The charges came after the video, which was obtained by The Citizen Times and released in a story last month, caused an outcry in Asheville, the county seat of Buncombe County and the largest city in Western North Carolina. Asheville's population of almost 90,000 is about 82 percent white and 12 percent black. Since then, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer has apologized to Rush in a statement on behalf of the City Council. "It's hard enough that we can't just throw a piece of technology at it and expect to substantially change police supervision", said Seth Stoughton, who teaches law at the University of SC. "We can be better".