Sunday - Dec 16, 2018

One-stop portal: Press releases, graphics and documents related to APD excessive use of force investigation in one place


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The City of Asheville has gathered all press releases, graphics and documents related to a former Asheville Police officer excessive use of force investigation into this portal on the City of Asheville website.

The information relates to an use of excessive force against Johnnie Jermaine Rush by former Officer Christopher Hickman in August 2017.

See the links below for complete information.

 

External audit consultant report presented to City Council

On March 7, Asheville City Council announced that it would commission an external audit of the staff’s decision-making process related to the August 2017 Rush incident.

The City hired 21CP Solutions as the consultant for this external audit. The consultant presented his report and a PowerPoint presentation to Council during its Aug. 28 meeting. Here are links to the report and thePowerPoint presentation.

21st CP Solutions Report to City of Asheville August 2018

21st CP Solutions PowerPoint for Asheville City Council presentation 08282018

 

Settlement agreement released

Executed Johnnie Rush Settlement and Release Agreement with Addendum

Report to Asheville City Council of Johnnie Rush Settlement

 

Open letter from Asheville City Council,
Interim City Manager Cathy Ball
and Chief Tammy Hooper

Today, the City of Asheville will release nine officer body-worn camera videos related to the use of excessive force against Johnnie Jermaine Rush by former Officer Christopher Hickman in August of 2017.

 

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.

 

View the videos here: 

City of Asheville Police Department body-worn camera viewing information guide

 

 

Related reports

Earlier reports and related links follow below.

 

March 26: Judge rules in City’s favor over video release

On March 26, Buncombe County Superior Court Judge Mark Powell granted the City of Asheville’s petition to release nine body-worn camera videos related to the arrest of Johnnie Jermaine Rush in August 2017.

The City filed the petition requesting release of the videos in the interest of transparency, at the request of City Council.

The judge ruled that the videos should be made public at 2 p.m. April 2, and the City expects an order authorizing this decision will be signed by Judge Powell in the next several days.

By state law, body-worn camera recordings are governed by N.C. General Statues 132-1.4A and cannot be released to the City Council, the press or the public, except by court order.

Here is a copy of the petition to the court:

Order allowing the City of Asheville to the Release of Asheville Police Department Recordings Related to the August 2017 Arrest of Johnnie Jermaine Rush

 

 

March 5: APD excessive use of force investigation
press releases, graphics and documents

On March 5, the City of Asheville took an usual step in deciding to release personnel information in the matter of the Asheville Police Department excessive use of force investigation. Some of the following links have information usually considered private, including the fact that the day after the excessive use of force happened APD Chief Hooper ordered that the officer’s law enforcement authority be suspended, that his badge and gun be taken from him.

 

 

March 10: City of Asheville receives letter notifying City that Johnnie Rush as retained legal representation

The City of Asheville has received a letter dated March 8, 2018, from attorney James Ferguson II notifying the City of his legal representation of Johnnie Rush regarding the August 2017 excessive use of force incident by an Asheville Police Officer. That former APD officer, Christopher Hickman, was charged with two assault charges and a communicating threats charge by the Buncombe County District Attorney on March 8. Find more about those charges at the link below.

The City is making that letter available to the public here: Letter of Representation

Following the receipt of the letter, the City has had requests for an official response, which is provided here by City Attorney Robin Currin:

“(The City) had an introductory conversation with Mr. Ferguson (recently) and agreed to discuss matters further after he becomes more familiar with the case. There is nothing else to report, except both parties expressed an interest in resolving the matter without litigation being filed. Closed session discussions, as well as my communications with my client regarding potential litigation, are confidential and cannot be shared with (the public).”

 

 

Related links:

Asheville City Manager announces management assignments

Asheville City Council to hold March 20 worksession

Former Asheville Police officer charged, taken into custody

Asheville City Council votes to support City Manager’s release of personnel information related to APD investigation

Christopher Hickman Public Personnel Record

Resolution concurring in the City Manager’s release of personnel information

City of Asheville release of personnel information 03052018

City of Asheville files petition to order release of additional APD body-cam footage

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Police Chief Hooper decries officer’s actions on WLOS

Q&A: Asheville Police body-worn camera, use of force policies

Audio of Asheville Citizens Police Advisory Committee meeting March 7, 2018

Asheville City Council issues statement to the community in wake of APD excessive use of force

Asheville City Council to hold special meeting March 5

City officials attend meeting to have dialogue about police video

Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper issues statement

Asheville Mayor Manheimer issues statement about police video

 

Also related to Asheville Police Department’s use of force trends:

Asheville Police Professional Standards Report shows dramatic decrease in use of force

 

 

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