Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty In Assault Of Black Pedestrian


West/ North west / Washington 113 Views

By Jennifer Saylor

Asheville (WLOS) — A former Asheville police officer accused of choking, beating and using a stun gun on a black pedestrian has pleaded guilty to communicating threats, assault inflicting serious injury, and felony assault by strangulation.

Christopher Hickman, 32, was accused of using excessive force after stopping pedestrian Johnnie Rush on suspicion of jaywalking in a 2017 incident.

Hickman was charged with felony assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats, and appears to have pleaded guilty to all three charges.

Leaked body camera video showed Hickman violently beating and choking Rush. The video quickly drew national attention.

Hickman was charged on March 8, 2018, after footage of the incident was leaked to the media.

In an August 2018 civil settlement over the incident, the City of Asheville agreed to pay Johnnie Rush a total of $650,000.

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