Former Asheville Police officer Christopher Hickman was taken into custody the evening of March 8, 2018, and charged with Assault by Strangulation, Assault Inflicting Serious Injury and Communicating Threats for actions during the August 24, 2017, excessive use of force incident against Johnnie Rush.
Here is the press release from the Buncombe County District Attorney’s office:
DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:￼
BUNCOMBE COUNTY Thursday, March 08, 2018
ASHEVILLE – Today an Investigator with the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office, who is a dually sworn law enforcement officer with the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, obtained the following charges, by means of criminal warrant for arrest (under NCGS §15A-304), against Christopher William Hickman:
Assault by strangulation in violation of NCGS §14-32.4(b);
Assault inflicting serious injury in violation of NCGS §14-33(d);
Communicating threats in violation of NCGS §14-277.1.
The warrants were issued by Chief Magistrate D. L. Cowan, Jr.
Pursuant to the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers, aside from the foregoing information and what can be found in the public court file, a prosecutor shall refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.
A “charge” is merely an accusation and each and every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.