Ex-officer suing NC city, former police chief after jaywalking beating

    Johnnie Jermaine Rush was accused of jaywalking. (Photo credit: Johnnie Rush)

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - An ex-North Carolina police officer says Asheville and its former police chief used her as a scapegoat during the case of a white officer filmed beating a black pedestrian.

    News outlets reported Wednesday that former Sgt. Lisa Taube is suing Asheville and former police Chief Tammy Hooper for slander and libel.

    Hooper publicly criticized and disciplined Taube for her response to the August 2017 beating of Johnnie Jermaine Rush, who was accused of jaywalking.

    Former officer Christopher Hickman is charged with felony assault in the beating, which was recorded by police body cameras. The city settled for $650,000.

    Taube was Hickman's supervisor. Then-city manager Gary Jackson said Taube didn't immediately review body camera video or share case notes.

    The city has said Taube doesn't have a viable case.

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