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Asheville City Manager Out As Fallout From Police Beating Video Continues


Asheville city council has decided to replace embattled city manager Gary Jackson, effective at the end of the business day Tuesday.  Jackson’s ouster after 13 years on the job was announced by mayor Esther Manheimer during a Tuesday afternoon city council meeting.  Earlier this year, Jackson announced he was retiring at the end of 2018.  But that was before the release of video footage showing a then-Asheville police officer beating an unarmed black man last August.  That video, from a police body camera, only came to light because it was leaked to the Asheville Citizen-Times, which published it six months after the incident occurred.  At two public meetings this month, Jackson was a frequent target of anger from residents upset with how the criminal investigation into former officer Chris Hickman unfolded and how it was reported to city leaders.  Hickman now faces three charges including felony assault, and is due in court at the beginning of April.   As for Jackson, he will receive six months salary and benefits, which the city says he is obligated under his 2005 employment agreement.  Assistant city manager Cathy Ball will serve as interim manager until a new city manager is selected.  (Official statement from the city of Asheville below)

Credit City of Asheville

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.
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