‘I can’t breathe’: Asheville police video shows white officer beating, choking black jaywalking suspect

Another scumbag cop busted by body cam. No wonder they turn them off and mute them all the time. This is typical behavior for the boys in blue. The officer (Suspect) very non chalantly describes to his superior how he bashed him in the face with the Taser “Just about as hard as I could; That seemed to work”.     Is this freedom? When hordes of hired thugs with guns beat and assault citizens on a daily basis?  This is the utmost of tyranny when you can’t even safely walk down the street.    There is no default hero status for these thugs anymore.

“Johnnie Rush was just trying to get home from a long shift at the Cracker Barrel.

Then he got stopped for jaywalking — an encounter with the police department in Asheville, N.C., that ultimately left Rush with a bloodied face after an officer punched him multiple times, used a stun gun on him and put him in a chokehold on the ground.

On Monday, the city of Asheville released nine videos from the officers’ body-worn cameras showing the encounter and ensuing assault from various angles while Rush screamed, “Help!” and “I can’t breathe,” echoing the cry of Eric Garner, an African American who  died in 2014 after a white New York City police officer put him in an apparent chokehold during an arrest.

The officer who repeatedly struck Rush in the head, Christopher Hickman, resigned in January just before he was terminated for violating the use-of-force policy, according to city officials. He was charged in March with felony assault by strangulation and misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats for the August 2017 incident. His lawyer says he’s going to trial and that a jury will acquit him.

“What happened in these recordings is unacceptable and does not meet the standards of the Asheville Police Department, the values of the City of Asheville, or the expectations of Asheville residents,” city officials said in a written statement posted with the videos Monday. “Christopher Hickman’s actions violated the Asheville Police Department’s vision that all people are treated with dignity and respect. These actions have damaged the progress that the Asheville Police Department has made in the last several years in improving community trust.”

According to the videos, Hickman and a police officer in training, Verino Ruggerio, first spot Rush walking through the parking lot of a business, which they later describe as trespassing. Then they see him cross the street without using a crosswalk. The officers follow him to a nearby convenience store, then wait for him to buy some beer before confronting him outside the store about the alleged jaywalking. Ruggerio gave him a warning and let him go, but moments later he and Hickman say on video that they see Rush jaywalking “again and again,” which is not captured.

“Rush, Rush,” Ruggerio says, walking toward him, “I just told you. … You just committed four crimes in a row. Just because you don’t agree it’s a crime doesn’t mean it’s not a crime.”

“All I’m trying to do is go home, man,” Rush tells him, as the two go back and forth about the problem with walking in the street. “I’m tired. I just got off work.”

Ruggerio tells him he has two options: He can either arrest him or write him a ticket.

“I asked you to use the crosswalk. Why is that so hard?” Ruggerio says.

“You’re right,” Rush says. “It’s not, sir. It’s not. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. You’re right.”

Ruggerio asks Rush to look at him, but Rush says he can hear him just fine. Hickman chimes in to say, “Just write him a ticket. He wants to act like a punk.”

In a moment though, Hickman changes his mind. After Rush remarks that the cops apparently have nothing better to do than harass someone about walking, Hickman darts toward him, telling him to put his hands behind his back. When Hickman tries to grab him, Rush backs away — then starts running. He crosses the street, then apparently decides to stop fleeing as Hickman and Ruggerio approach.

“He thinks it’s funny,” Hickman says. “You know what’s funny is you’re gonna get f—– up hardcore. Get on the ground.”

The rest of the story and the video here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/04/03/i-cant-breathe-asheville-police-video-shows-white-officer-beating-choking-black-jaywalking-suspect/?utm_term=.678a1e3ad9e7

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