Assault charged dropped for North Carolina police officer

File image of Former Asheville Police Officer Christopher Hickman appears in court in Asheville, North Carolina, on August 5, 2019. (Photo: WLOS Staff)

ASHEVILLE, NC (AP) — A former North Carolina police officer who pleaded guilty to the 2017 beating of a Black pedestrian has had his charge dismissed after a year’s probation and a first of its kind program.

News sources report Tuesday’s ruling in Buncombe County Superior Court follows the completion of the program meant to bring healing to the victim and community.

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Activists criticized it as failing to deal with harm caused by the beating, choking, and shocking of Johnnie Rush by ex-Asheville police officer Christopher Hickman, who was charged with felony assault in the incident.