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RAW: Mayor Esther Manheimer discusses leaked Asheville police bodycam video

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer speaks with News 13 days after leaked body camera footage was released, depicting an Asheville police officer beating a man accused of jaywalking. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer spoke with News 13 days after leaked body camera footage was released, depicting an Asheville police officer beating a man accused of jaywalking.

The video was first reported by The Citizen-Times on Feb. 28, 2018. The footage shows an incident that happened in August 2017.

The bodycam video shows Officer Chris Hickman beating Johnnie Rush after a suspected jaywalked violation.

Manheimer reacted to the video and answered questions about city council's response the video.

She also addressed several steps the city is taking in response to the incident.

The city council is calling for an audit of the Asheville Police Department by a third party to determine the extent to which racial bias exists within the police department.

Council members are also calling for an external audit of the staff's decision-making process in not notifying council members about the video.

Manheimer says she found out about the video through a tweet after the leaked footage was released by the Citizen Times.

"My first thought was, 'Is this real?' It was unbelievable. And then I thought, how is it possible that I don't know about this? How is it possible that this happened in August and not one word was spoken to council about this?" she said.

She's hoping to get some of those answers with one of the audits.

She also says the city is in the middle of creating a human relations commission.

"One of the pieces of this commisson's duties will be to help facilitate the com munity's participating with the city and especially around policing issues," said Manheimer.

She says the chief is interested in allowing the commission hear about an excessive use of force complaints.



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