APD beating caught on camera sparks outrage

A man seen being beaten by Asheville police officers still gets emotional talking about the incident, months after it...

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 11:59 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2018 11:59 AM

A man seen being beaten by Asheville police officers still gets emotional talking about the incident, months after it happened.

Johnnie Rush said he just wants to know why the officer did what he did.

Police body camera video showed a strong use of force by an Asheville police officer during the jaywalking arrest near the corner of Biltmore and Short Coxe avenues.

In the video, an officer can be seen punching Rush in the face several times as he was being restrained and arrested. The video also shows Rush getting tased after he fled from police.

The incident took place in August but is just coming to light after the Asheville Citizen-Times obtained the video and reported the story Wednesday, Feb. 28.

"Put your hands behind your back."

"I can't breath, I can't breath."

Officer Chris Hickman is then seen punching Rush.

"I ran because I was afraid for my life," Rush said. "I didn't want to go to jail because I didn't deserve it. I stopped when I realize I could be in even more danger if I didn't."

Rush said police took him to the hospital where he said to the officer.

"I asked him (Hickman) why he did what he did to me. And officer Hickman looked me in the eyes, and said 'I don't like us (expletive)," calling Rush a racial epithet.

Asheville Police chief Tammy Hooper issued a statement condemning the officer's actions.

"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. Officers know that they must earn the trust of our community by providing fair and respectful service. That very clearly did not happen during the incident depicted, and, for that, I apologize to Mr. Rush, as well as the community."

A spokesman for the local fraternal Order of Police said there are major concerns about what happened in the video.

"Most officers knew about this around the time it happened," Rondell Lance said, and that was months ago. "I would think there are more tapes than this one. The other officers may have been wearing cameras, too."

Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer issued a statement and an apology after learning about the video.

"The city council and I immediately contacted city administration to express our outrage at the treatment of Mr. Rush ... and our outrage of not being informed about the actions of APD officers," the statement said in part.

Manheimer said city leaders are calling for a review of the action taken by the Asheville Police Department.

Hickman is no longer with the force, and there is a criminal investigation into the incident.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3074812

Reported Deaths: 35060
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103873814416
San Bernardino2569141560
Riverside2510002676
San Diego2185552174
Orange2165092508
Santa Clara949051129
Kern87240572
Fresno83200968
Sacramento811831128
Alameda68649788
Ventura62774462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43121766
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo32887309
San Francisco29502266
Solano25983107
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25333474
Merced24570316
Sonoma24184242
Kings19588148
Placer17490184
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13528151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10789138
Shasta9750123
Butte9528128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa767244
Lassen519916
San Benito500346
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323474
Mendocino319232
Amador302431
Lake262531
Humboldt242725
Glenn194820
Colusa17969
Calaveras162123
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 54°
Oroville
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 53°
Chico
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Red Bluff
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 38°
Red Bluff
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 38°
Chico
Mostly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 54°
Thursday was the last fairly quiet weather day that we'll have in northern California as a series of storms will move our way through next week. Our first chance for rain and snow showers arrives Friday morning with a cold front.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events