Police body camera video published by the Asheville Citizen Times on Wednesday has caused widespread public outcry over the beating and torture of an African American man accused of jaywalking and trespassing in a vacant parking lot in Asheville, North Carolina past year by white police officers.
Asheville Police Officer Chris Hickman, who resigned following the bloody beating, was arrested Thursday on charges of felony assault by strangulation and misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats, USA Today reports.
The petition cites a need for "total transparency" but notes that body camera footage is not a public document under state law. The FBI has also launched a criminal investigation.
The criminal probe stems from an incident on august 25, 2017, when Hickman and a partner he was training stopped 33-year-old Johnnie Jermaine Rush for allegedly jaywalking in Asheville. During the ensuing chase, Hickman can be heard yelling, "You are going to get fucked up hardcore", while pulling out his stun gun.
Asheville police boss Tammy Hooper said that she would leave on the off chance that it mitigated shock that has ejected over the video, however her offer comes after there has been trouble discovering somebody to explore the case.
"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.
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Hickman tackled Rush and the two men wrestled before Hickman's partner and at least two other back-up officers helped hold Rush down.
The officers end up catching Rush and as he is restrained on the ground, Hickman proceeds to punch him in the head several times, as well as shoots him with a stun gun and chokes him. Kapoor, who just took office in January after being the top vote-getter in last year's election, said in a statement that the release of a video showing a then-Asheville police officer beating an unarmed black man last August and the revelations of the delays in investigating it were "clearly a setback" in changing the culture of the police department, he still supports Hooper.
Hickman has been released after posting $10,000 bond and declined to a respond to a reporter while walking out of jail, the Citizen-Times reports.
All charges against Rush, including assaulting a government official and jaywalking, have been dropped. The warrant said Rush lost consciousness when Hickman placed his arm on his throat and applied pressure.
Hooper also ordered a review of more than 58 hours worth of footage from Hickman's body-camera, which "revealed four other instances where Hickman displayed discourteous and rude conduct to members of the public".
The city did not provide contact information for Hickman.
During the meeting, Hooper repeated an apology to the community she first publicly issued on March 1, saying, "I am happy to resign if that will solve the problem".