Asheville woman says she had run in with APD officer in leaked bodycam footage

Javlin Duncan, left, and Vanessa Bogany dealt with former Asheville police officer Christopher Hickman months before he was caught on video punching a man accused of jaywalking. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Vanessa Bogany said she thought former Asheville police officer Christopher Hickman showed he was racist months before his body camera captured him punching and tasing Johnnie Rush.

Bogany's grandson was cuffed by Hickman and put in a squad car during an incident at an Asheville pool. There was a report someone was waving around a gun. Bogany said it turned out to be a BB gun found in someone's bag at the pool and had nothing to do with her grandson. But, she said, her grandson had run from the scene, and Hickman chased him and put the 15-year-old in a car.

"I heard him (Hickman) using profane language, cursing and I asked him (my grandson) who was that?" Bogany said. "It was Officer Hickman, Chris Hickman."

Bogany said she went to pick up her grandson and she could hear Hickman talking to him in the car. Bogany's daughter, Javlin Duncan, said she also heard Hickman disrespecting her son in the squad car as he talked about his grandmother, who was there to get him.

"He heard Hickman say, I don't give a f— about your grandma," said Bogany who spoke to the officer when she came to get her grandson. "He said he didn't care who I was."

Bogany said other officers at the scene, in so many words, apologized for Hickman's demeanor and foul language. She said officers told her Hickman normally didn't work in their district. She said she filed a complaint at the substation and had a meeting with Capt. Mark Byrd on June 22. Bogany's 2017 calendar showed her handwritten notes for both dates -- the 19th, the day of the incident, and the 22nd, the day of the meeting with Byrd.

"They asked me what I wanted done," Bogany said. "I said, 'He has to go to sensitivity training.'"

She said she didn't want to see Hickman or discuss what happened.

"I don't need an apology from him because he sounds racist.. (It was) his mannerisms, the way he spoke and talked," she said.

Bogany said the officers told her they would file the report but said not to expect to hear back from them. More than two months later, on Aug. 24, 2017, Hickman was seen on bodycam footage as he arrested, beat and tased Rush, who was accused of jaywalking.

Bogany spoke at the Citizens Police Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday and said she wondered if APD had spoken to, disciplined or ordered Hickman to do sensitivity training whether that would have taken him off the streets or changed what happened to Rush.

"Saying something to him about it, maybe this incident with the other guy (Rush) probably wouldn't have happened," she said.

A spokesman for APD said the department could not comment on any complaint filed because it is not a public record.

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