'I Can't Breathe!' Police Beating of Black North Carolina Man Draws Outrage

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The police officer seen in a body cam video beating a city resident accused of jaywalking and trespassing through the parking lot of closed business has been criminally charged and arrested in the incident.

Body camera footage from officer Chris Hickman, who was with his trainee Verino Ruggiero, shows that Rush said he was exhausted and told officers to stop harassing him, before the situation escalated to an arrest for jaywalking and trespassing on a parking lot.

BUSH: City council this week had to go into special session just to vote to make public some personnel records about this particular officer.

North Carolina police are now focused on who exactly leaked the footage of the incident that took place August 2017, with Asheville police Chief Tammy Hooper telling the Asheville Citizen-Times that it's release was illegal.

The public did not know the police chief quietly oversaw an internal investigation and was about to fire the officer when he quit in January.

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Johnnie Rush was beaten, chocked and tasered after jaywalking in North Carolina. Since the footage was released, Officer Hickman has resigned from the police force and may face criminal charges for his actions that night.

An arrest warrant for Hickman notes that he struck Rush multiple times, causing abrasions and swelling to his head.

His comment can't be heard, but Hickman responds: "Oh it's a 'Please" now is it?' Hickman says.

In the video, an officer trainee tells Rush he already warned him about jaywalking, and that he'll have to write him a ticket or arrest him. Hickman resigned in January just as he was about to be fired. In the video, Hickman can be seen hitting and tasering the man, Johnnie Rush, 32, who screams, "I can't breathe!" throughout the assault.

"All I ask of the community is don't judge the rest of those [cops] out there because of Chris Hickman", Lance said.

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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.

And the FBI has launched an investigation.

DE LA CANAL: I wonder about the man Johnny Jermaine Rush.

All charges against Rush have been dismissed.

Tempers flared at times Wednesday as community members met for the first since a disturbing police bodycam video was released in a story by the Citizen Times last week. Currently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been involved in the case.

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An investigation from the FBI, which comes in addition to a criminal investigation by the Asheville police of their own officer, will likely focus on violations of Rush's civil rights.