Officer faces felony charges after arrest of jaywalker

Officer Christopher Hickman 31 resigned from the Asheville Police Department in January

Officer Christopher Hickman 31 resigned from the Asheville Police Department in January

Asheville city council is scheduled to meet twice on Tuesday, its first regularly scheduled meetings since the release of a body camera video that showed a then-city police officer beating an unarmed black man previous year.

Buncombe County district attorney Todd Williams announced Monday 27 cases involving 17 defendants that were investigated by former Asheville police officer Chris Hickman have been dismissed. The FBI is also conducting a criminal investigation on Hickman.

The press release states that because of Hickman's charges, he is no longer considered a credible witness to the state. More cases could be dropped as prosecutors analyze convictions obtained using Hickman's testimony.

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Video from a body camera worn by Hickman, who is white, shows Rush running away after Hickman's order to put his hands behind his back.

The video begins with Officer Verino Ruggiero warning Rush about repeated jaywalking. Rush explained he just got off work.

In the ensuing altercation, Hickman is seen repeatedly punching Rush in the face, as Rush says, "I can't breathe". Charges against Rush were dropped in September.

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Hooper issued a public apology March 1, saying, "The acts demonstrated in this video are unacceptable and contrary to the department's vision and the progress we have made in the last several years in improving community trust".

He resigned from the department in January.

The State Bureau of Investigation declined to lead the probe, citing the time lapse.

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The city also filed a petition Monday asking for more body-camera recordings of the incident to be released on belief that doing so "is necessary to provide the public with full disclosure of the circumstances surrounding the arrest" and "to provide the public with all relevant information to understand the events that transpired".

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