Virginia cop tackles Black man for not having a headlight on his bicycle in recently released body cam video
Footage of the December 2018 incident was recently obtained by the Norfolk Virginia-Pilot newspaper
The family of a Norfolk, Virginia man seen being tackled by a cop while riding a bicycle in a body cam video released earlier this month, is pursuing a lawsuit against the officer on their loved one’s behalf.
Derrick Rountree, 46, was killed earlier this year on June 24 in an unrelated daytime shooting near a Shop ‘N Go market in the coastal Virginia city, according to an online copy of Roundtree’s obituary and the Virginia-Pilot.
Rountree’s death came more than two years after Norfolk Police officer Aaron Christie allegedly tackled him early Christmas morning.
The Virginia-Pilot recently obtained footage from Christie’s body cam that allegedly shows him taking down Rountree just over three years ago.
The footage was submitted as evidence a few weeks ago in a $1.5 million excessive force lawsuit originally filed in December 2020 at the U.S. District Court in Norfolk, court records show.
The first two minutes of the 30-minute video shows an officer running in pursuit of a Black man riding a bike around 2:40 a.m. on Dec. 25, 2018, before tackling him on a sidewalk in a residential area.
“Why you do that to me, bro? For what? I ain’t do nothin’,” the man later identified as Rountree is heard saying in the video.
“You have no light. We tried to stop you. You tried to run,” the officer later identified as Christie replied.
“Is you serious, man?” Rountree responded. “I didn’t know I need a light for a bike.”
“You need a light,” another on-scene officer told Rountree.
The lawsuit accuses Christie of breaking Roundtree’s leg in multiple places during the incident, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by the theGrio. An ambulance was called to the scene to take the late 46-year-old to a local hospital after the altercation.
“Because of the severity of his injuries, Rountree required surgery to reset his leg, was hospitalized for several days, and has continued to experience pain and discomfort in the months following the incident,” the complaint stated.
Rountree was charged later with the headlight offense and obstruction of justice, but authorities ultimately dismissed the obstruction charge, according to the Virginia-Pilot.
Christie’s attorneys reportedly asked Rountree why he chose not to stop when the officer tried to pull him over during a deposition hearing that took place earlier this year before Rountree was killed.
“Because I’m on a bicycle. What would he stop me for?” Rountree replied, according to the Virginia-Pilot.
Norfolk Police and Deputy City Attorney Michael Beverly did not immediately respond Sunday to a request for comment from theGrio.
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