Ex-officer pleads guilty to beating pedestrian on video | TribLIVE.com

Ex-officer pleads guilty to beating pedestrian on video

Associated Press
Johnnie Jermaine Rush grimaces after officer Christopher Hickman overpowers him in a chokehold Aug. 25, 2017, in Asheville, N.C. Hickman has pleaded guilty to beating the black pedestrian in a case that sparked outrage after graphic video of the encounter surfaced.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A former North Carolina police officer has pleaded guilty to beating a black pedestrian in a case that sparked outrage after graphic video of the encounter surfaced.

Christopher Hickman pleaded guilty Friday in Asheville to assault by strangulation, assault inflicting serious injury and communicating threats. Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams said in a news release that the judge sentenced him to a year of probation.

Williams said the plea was brokered after Hickman met with pedestrian Johnnie Rush through a mediated process called restorative justice.

Body camera footage of the August 2017 beating showed Hickman, who’s white, hitting Rush and putting him in a chokehold after officers accused Rush of jaywalking.

Footage became public when an Asheville newspaper published it, prompting anger and questions over police use of force.

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