Federal Bureau of Investigation involved in NC police officer beating a black man

Feds investigating Asheville use of force incident

In a statement, police later apologized to Rush for not providing "fair and respectful service" and characterized Hickman's actions as "unacceptable and contrary" to the department's vision.

The FBI is investigating a North Carolina police officer for the bloody beating of a black man on foot he accused of jaywalking.

District Attorney Williams released a statement on Twitter on Thursday, confirming Hickman, an officer with Asheville Police Department, was charged in the incident. Officer Chris Hickman, who was training Ruggiero and wearing the body camera, orders Rush to put his hands behind his back.

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.

Hickman was forced to resign in January and is now under criminal investigation for second-degree assault.

The Citizen Times reports Asheville City Attorney Robin Currin filed a petition Monday with Buncombe County Superior Court requesting the release of all footage related to the August arrest of 33-year-old Johnnie Jermaine Rush.

The pedestrian said he couldn't breathe as Hickman choked him, repeatedly hit him over the head and handcuffed him.

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A SBI proclamation again declined to open a different examination, however this time said it was on the grounds that it was helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the situation.

A supervisor who responded to the scene on the night of Rush's arrest was disciplined for unsatisfactory performance after failing to immediately disclose all the details gleaned from interviewing Hickman and Rush, and neglecting to view the body camera footage that day.

(UPDATE Thursday 4:20 p.m) - Asheville city councilman Vijay Kapoor is throwing his support behind police chief Tammy Hooper, who offered to resign in asked at Wednesday night's meeting of the city's citizen police advisory committee.

"I don't know if we got a lot of questions answered though about the time frame - when people knew and didn't know", another resident said. Assault charges against Rush were dropped soon after he filed an excessive force complaint.

In the video, Ruggiero can be seen telling Rush that he had failed to use a crosswalk four times, to which Rush replies, "All I'm trying to do is go home, man".

Jackson wrote that Hickman ordered a review of all body camera footage taken by Hickman while on duty. The warrant said Rush lost consciousness when Hickman placed his arm on his throat and applied pressure. Hickman resigned in January just as he was about to be fired. The investigation also found that Hickman had engaged in "rude and discourteous behavior" on at least four other occasions. He was charged with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats. The first to speak was DeLores Venable of Asheville Black Lives Matter. "If no one would've leaked it [the video] or said something, we would be in the dark". He resigned instead at the beginning of a January meeting where he was scheduled to be terminated.

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