"How was I supposed to comply with your orders while you were assaulting me? How did you think I had a weapon?" said the victim.
A North Carolina white cop who pleaded guilty for choking a black man for trespassing and jaywalking has been freed of all charges by the first-of-its-kind restorative justice program, reports Atlanta Black Star.
Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams tweeted saying that both the victim, Johnnie Jermaine Rush and offender, Christopher Hickman have negotiated the plea deal; and the victim's civil rights attorney has agreed to the deal.
"After Mr. Hickman was charged, I consulted with Mr. Rush about his feelings and what justice could look like for him in this case," Williams said. "Upon reflection, Mr. Rush stated that what was most important to him was that the violation of his rights is recognized, that he receive an apology and, if possible, that no one else should experience what he experienced."
Christopher Hickman convicted of felony assault by strangulation, misdemeanor assault by strangulation, and misdemeanor communicating threats. pic.twitter.com/fDQKP2afo2— Buncombe County DA (@BuncombeCoDA) August 9, 2019
Rush was stopped by the officer on Aug. 25, 2017, in Asheville after a walk through a business’s parking lot resulted in accusations he was trespassing and jaywalking.
The officer stated that during the confrontation he thought that Rush had a gun but Rush asked Hickman "How was I supposed to comply with your orders while you were assaulting me? How did you think I had a weapon?"
However, Williams' Tweet has a statement of the officer that read, "I pretty much left you with no choice and I left myself with no choice on how I'm supposed to react and that’s not what I want to do for either one of us, but that’s on me."
"That's what I did and that's stuff I should have done better," he added, "and I'm sorry about that and I'm sorry that that situation happened, and I'm sorry that the mistakes that I made it get to that point."
However, Black pubic officials have criticized the deal and argued that minority defendants typically receive harsher treatment for lesser crimes, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.