Speed Reads

police brutality

North Carolina police officer who assaulted jaywalker has been arrested and charged

A North Carolina police officer will face charges for assaulting a man accused of jaywalking, CNN reports.

The former officer, Christopher Hickman, caused outrage when body camera footage from August 2017 showed him using excessive force against Johnnie Jermaine Rush, who was stopped for allegedly jaywalking. Hickman chased Rush, tackled him to the ground, punched him repeatedly in the head, choked him, and shot him with a stun gun, footage shows.

The video was published by the Asheville-based Citizen-Times in February. In the footage, Rush can be heard calling for help and yelling about being unable to breathe. Rush complained to the police department the same day of the incident, and police Chief Tammy Hooper placed Hickman on administrative duty, telling him to turn in his badge and gun. After reviewing more body camera footage, Hooper moved to fire Hickman in January, but the officer instead resigned.

The Buncombe County District Attorney's Office said Thursday that a judge had issued a warrant for Hickman's arrest on charges of assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury, and communicating threats, CNN reports. Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer (D) additionally apologized to Rush in a statement last week. Read more about the case at CNN.