Norfolk, VA – Police bodycam video has been released that showed a Norfolk officer knocking a man off his bike on Christmas Eve three years ago, breaking his leg in three places, after the man failed to stop (video below).
The incident occurred at about 9 p.m. on Dec. 25, 2018 when 43-year-old Derrick Rountree rode his bike past a Norfolk police vehicle on his way to a convenience store, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Rountree admitted in a $1.5 million federal civil rights lawsuit he filed in December of 2020 that he heard the officer’s siren sound, saw the vehicle’s police lights turn on, and heard the officer say something over loudspeaker, but said he didn’t stop because he thought it was meant for somebody else.
The complaint said he kept going and then turned around and headed back to his friend’s apartment where he was staying in the Tidewater Gardens public house project, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Bodycam video showed that Norfolk Police Officer Aaron Christie got out of his vehicle and pursued Rountree’s bicycle on foot.
The officer yelled “stop” at Rountree several times but the man kept going.
When Officer Christie caught up with Rountree, video showed he knocked the suspect off of his bike and both men crashed to the ground.
Rountree began hollering in pain as soon as he hit the sidewalk.
“Why you do that to me, bro?” the injured cyclist asked the officer. “I didn’t do nothing. D-n!”
“You have no lights,” Officer Christie replied. “I tried to stop you. You tried to run.”
Rountree said he didn’t hear anything and another officer told him that he had hit the siren twice to get his attention.
“Oh for real?” Rountree asked. “You serious man? I didn’t know you had to have a light for a bike.”
“You need a light for a bike,” another officer told him in the video.
The video showed Rountree screamed in pain a moment later when one of the officers gave him a hand up to his feet.
Police called an ambulance and Rountree was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for treatment, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Rountree’s leg was broken in three places.
He was charged afterward with the headlight infraction and obstruction of justice, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Court records showed that the obstruction charge was eventually dismissed and the judge fined Rountree $15 for not having a headlight.
The Norfolk Police Department investigated the incident and cleared Officer Christie of any wrongdoing, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Rountree filed a $1.5 million federal civil right lawsuit against Officer Christie and the Norfolk Police Department alleging the officer used excessive force when he knocked him off his bike.
The original plaintiff in the case will not reap any reward if the lawsuit is successful.
Rountree was fatally shot in front of a convenience store in the middle of the day in Virginia Beach last summer, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
His family has claimed that Rountree was just an innocent bystander who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was killed.
No arrests have been made in Rountree’s death, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
“I know they had a reason to stop him, but they obviously didn’t have a reason to use that amount of force to stop him,” Christian Connell, the family’s attorney, told WTKR.
Not long after he was killed, Rountree’s family announced its intention to pursue the lawsuit on behalf of the dead man’s three children.
“The damage that he suffered doesn’t go away and the lawsuit doesn’t go away,” Connell said.
The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in federal court on March 29, WTKR reported.
“Some police officers do things that are uncalled for and this is one of those cases,” the attorney said.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: