ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The City of Asheville has released nine Asheville Police Department body cam tapes, including the one that was leaked to local media, related to the beating and arrest of unarmed pedestrian Johnnie Rush by an APD officer who later resigned, reported WLOS.
A superior court judge ruled on March 26 that the nine Asheville police body cam videos should be released from the night in August 2017 when former APD officer Chris Hickman arrested, punched, and tased Rush, a pedestrian accused of jaywalking.
The judge said it is in the public’s interest to see it for both context and transparency.
Asheville’s city attorney argued for the release.
The videos are avilable on the City of Asheville website, ashevillenc.gov. To view them, scroll down to the heading “Latest News.” Then click on the article titled “One-stop portal: Press releases, graphics and documents related to APD excessive use of force investigation in one place.”
The footage is about 93 minutes in total.
Chris Hickman, the former officer who beat and arrested Rush, is charged with assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury, and communicating threats.
If convicted of those charges, he could face up to a total of 4 years behind bars.
Hickman’s attorney shared the following statement with News 13:
Christopher Hickman served the City of Asheville for 10 years and received numerous accommodations. It’s unfortunate that so many individuals have rushed to judge my client. I am confident that when a fair and impartial jury hears the whole story that Mr. Hickman will be acquitted. Any notion that my client had any criminal intent to harm Mr. Rush is without basis.