Johnnie Rush, 33, took a brutal beating from a North Carolina law enforcement officer in Asheville after police stopped him for jaywalking and trespassing through the parking lot of a business that had been closed for the night. Although this is common behavior displayed by many as it is sometimes easier to cross through a parking lot rather than having to take a longer route, police were not about to let Rush get away for committing such an “awful” crime.
Video footage from the night officers came in contact with Rush eventually surfaced and in it we can see Rush with what looks like a grocery bag that likely came from a nearby market in his hands as he is trying to get home [Source: USA Today]. A conversation begins with Verino Ruggiero, who happened to be an officer in training, telling Rush that he didn’t use the crosswalks four times in a row. Rush replied, “All I’m trying to do is go home, man. I’m tired. I just got off of work.” Ruggiero then says, “I’ve got two options, I can either arrest you or write you a ticket.” Rush then replied with, “It doesn’t matter, man. Do what you got to do besides keep harassing me.”
Rush had just finished a 13-hour shift as a dishwasher at a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Officer Hickman, who is no longer employed as a police officer, then joins the conversation and confirms with the other officer that they aren’t trying to harass him. But then things take a steep turn south. Hickman is then seen ordering Rush to put his hands behind his back, but knowing he didn’t commit a crime, Rush took off. The two officers chased Rush, tackled him, and gave him a bloody beating. At one point, Rush says several times that he cannot breathe. Hickman continued to punch the victim in the head while he was being held down by other officers and was shot with the Taser twice. Needless to say, he was left a swollen mess afterward. He is lucky to still be alive today.
After being beaten nearly to death, Rush was then charged with second-degree trespassing, impeding traffic, assault on a government official, and resisting a public officer. These charges were later dropped. However, new charges were filed against 31-year-old Chris Hickman. Although it is rare for an officer of the law to actually be convicted of charges stemming from police brutality, hopefully, with the right NC police brutality attorney, Rush can prove Hickam went above the law and used his power to inflict harm upon him.
Hickman is currently being charged with felony assault by strangulation and misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats. He was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. You can be certain more information regarding this case will soon be provided to the public as it develops.
As tragic as it is, police brutality cases continue to occur and the only way to help stop it is to ensure that consequences are served to those officers who engage in illegal and inappropriate behavior. If you are a police brutality victim and would like help in recognizing an officer in Charlotte, NC for applying excessive force or violating your rights, contact USAttorneys.com now. The Charlotte, NC police brutality lawyers we can connect you with are some of the best in the field and will dedicate their time to your case and obtaining a favorable outcome.