He beat up a Black pedestrian on his way home from work. Rather than take into account the obvious distrust the community has for someone of his profession, this officer decided to exacerbate racial tensions in Asheville by bullying and accosting Johnnie Jermaine Rush. It was all good until the video was made public. Now, the officer, Christopher Hickman, is on the other side of the law fighting for his freedom. Hickman has not only disgraced himself but he disgraced the badge and the profession. With his credibility as an unbiased officer in the toilet, the district attorney is now dropping 27 cases that Hickman was the sole witness in. The DA’s office is also looking into past cases that Hickman was involved in to see what else could be dropped.
District Attorney Todd Williams said that Hickman could no longer be viewed as a credible witness. The Citizen Times reports that the 27 cases involved “17 defendants and included some felonies and DWIs”. The dropped cases did not include violent felonies or sex offenses Williams noted.
“These are cases where officer Hickman was the sole and necessary witness, where he was critical to the case,” the district attorney said.
The DA did not provide a list of those cases for confirmation and a list was not immediately available according to criminal records staff at the Buncombe County Courthouse.
According to the Citizen-Times:
In reviewing convictions that used Hickman’s testimony, prosecutors will focus on the dates of Aug. 24 – March 8. That date in late August was the night Hickman stopped Johnnie Rush for what he said was jaywalking and trespassing by walking through the parking lot of a business closed for the night.
Hickman was charged Thursday with two counts of assault and one count of communicating threats.
“The DA’s Office will move to set aside convictions in all appropriate cases,” Williams said in a statement. “The DA’s Office will provide notice to defendants and their lawyers of this policy.