Crime & Courts

Driver accused of flipping off Rock Hill police officer, claims racism during arrest

Michael Ronkeyvius Douglas
Michael Ronkeyvius Douglas Provided Photograph

Two people were arrested during a traffic stop that was prompted by a driver flipping the middle finger to a Rock Hill Police officer at an intersection, according to a police report.

The officer was sitting at a red light at Mt. Gallant Road and Cherry Road about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday when a red SUV pulled up beside her, the report states. The driver reportedly looked at the officer “with a deep stare and then put his left hand all the way out the window and stuck up his middle finger in an angry manner.”

The officer followed the vehicle into the parking lot of Little Caesar’s on Cherry Road “to investigate if the driver was intoxicated, on drugs or was having any mental issues due to his public disorderly action at the red light,” police said. The driver, 20-year-old Michael Ronkeyvius Douglas, was walking away from the car and yelled an expletive at the officer while again holding up his middle finger when she asked to speak with him.

Douglas walked “aggressively” back to the vehicle as the officer approached, the report states. His female passenger pulled out a cellphone and began screaming and filming the confrontation. Douglas put the key in the car’s ignition and tried to roll up the windows.

Believing Douglas could use the car as a weapon or grab a weapon from the front seat, the officer tried to handcuff him but he snatched his hand away, police said. This led to a physical struggle between Douglas the officer, both of whom went to the ground as the officer struggled to handcuff him.

Douglas broke free and began screaming in the patrol car’s video camera, then went into the Little Caesar’s, police said. The officer then told the passenger she needed to produce an ID, and the driver said “numerous” times that she didn’t have one.

The female passenger was handcuffed until backup officers arrived, and began screaming and banging on the window of the patrol car, the report says. Douglas then came out of the restaurant yelling, “This is how they do us, bro,” and said he was being arrested because he is black and the officer is white. The female passenger is white.

Douglas was charged with public disorderly conduct, resisting police and possession of marijuana. He was placed in the Rock Hill city jail, where he remained Wednesday under $1,972 bond. The female passenger was charged with failure to identify.

Read more at The (Rock Hill) Herald.