The City of Asheville on Monday released nine police body cam videos related to the August 2017 incident where Asheville Police Department Officer Chris Hickman can be seen punching and choking resident Johnnie Rush.
Hickman, who resigned from the Police Department in January, has been charged with assault in the incident. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether Rush’s civil rights were violated. In addition, Rush is planning to sue the city over the incident.
In releasing the new videos, a move ordered by a judge last week, the city released a statement calling the videos “disturbing” and promising to work to rebuild community trust. From the statement:
These videos are disturbing, difficult to watch and may not be appropriate for all ages, as they contain violence and profanity. However, in the interest of public accountability and transparency, the City of Asheville petitioned the Buncombe County Superior Court to release the body-worn camera videos captured the night of August 24 and early morning of August 25, 2017.
This incident has created a loss of trust within the community, particularly among people of color. The City of Asheville understands that there is substantial work to do to restore the public’s trust. We have heard your concerns and feedback and we are committed to moving forward with the help of the community. We are encouraged by the community’s support as we implement changes towards this goal.
We are dedicated to being leaders who will create a culture where all people are treated with dignity and respect, and will hold accountable any employee who does not conduct themselves in this manner.