27 cases started by officer accused in beating video dropped

North Carolina Police Officer Christopher Hickman resigned from the Asheville Police Department and was later charged with assault

North Carolina Police Officer Christopher Hickman resigned from the Asheville Police Department and was later charged with assault

A white North Carolina police officer caught on bodycam footage beating a black man for allegedly jaywalking last summer has been charged.

Buncombe County district attorney Todd Williams announced Monday 27 cases involving 17 defendants that were investigated by former Asheville police officer Chris Hickman have been dismissed.

The FBI has opened a criminal investigation, according to Patty McQuillan, spokeswoman for the State Bureau of Investigation, which is assisting federal agents.

The press release states that because of Hickman's charges, he is no longer considered a credible witness to the state.

The D.A. also stated in a release that they would be reviewing any convictions on cases where Hickman was the lead officer from August 24 to current date, and move to set aside those convictions.

The leaked video taken near downtown Asheville shows Hickman, who is white, punching the head of Rush, who is black, on the night of August 24.

The officer was captured on body cam video beating a man accused of jaywalking
The officer was captured on body cam video beating a man accused of jaywalking

According to an arrest warrant for Hickman, Rush sustained head abrasions and swelling and lost consciousness during the encounter. Rush then runs, and Hickman is heard in the video during the chase saying "You are going to get (f--) up hard core".

In the ensuing altercation, Hickman is seen repeatedly punching Rush in the face, as Rush says, "I can't breathe".

The mock signs said, "Violators are subject to abuse by the Asheville Police Department".

Assault charges against Rush were dropped soon after he filed an excessive force complaint.

Hooper issued a public apology March 1, saying, "The acts demonstrated in this video are unacceptable and contrary to the department's vision and the progress we have made in the last several years in improving community trust". The delay in making the footage public also shows that body camera technology being adopted across the country can't always guarantee the level of transparency many have hoped for.

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