Patriots LB Elandon Roberts wants an investigation into an incient where he says he was harassed by police during a March traffic stop.
Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts would like an investigation into an incident where he says he was harassed by police outside of his Texas home during a March traffic stop.
Roberts's attorney, Jennine Hovell-Cox, told USA Today Sports that she requested the Fort Bend County (Texas) District Attorney to open an investigation into the March 10 traffic stop for speeding.
USA Today obtained dash cam footage from the Fort Bend County (Texas) Sheriff's Department, who did not provide a comment on the incident when reached by the newspaper on Thursday. The footage shows Roberts getting out of his car with his hands up before Deputy Adam Watkins orders him to get back in the car. The deputy also called for backup for the "big black man" who "wouldn't comply."
According to USA Today, Roberts was stopped for a basic speeding infraction but wasn't told why until nine minutes after police initiated the stop. Roberts told the newspaper in a statement that he wants "bias-based traffic stops" to end.
"Unfortunately, these types of things are happening all too often to African Americans," he said. "People are becoming desensitized to them. Being harassed in your own yard simply because you are a 'big black man’ should never become the norm. To the person being harassed, it is frightening, disrespectful and embarrassing.
"I have no interest in any financial gain from releasing this story. My only hope is that these types of bias-based traffic stops can end and that, perhaps, other black drivers might see how to deescalate a threatening situation."
According to USA Today, Roberts followed instructions and even asked the deputy, "Can we talk like men?" during the stop. Watkins said over the radio that Roberts exited the car before the traffic stop began.
"The big black man who was driving got out of the car. I told him to get back in. He wouldn't comply. I had to yell at him pretty hard to comply."
Roberts was allegedly pulled over for driving 59 mph in a 35 mph zone and failing to provide insurance. USA Today searched court records, which didn't show the citation was entered.
Hovell-Cox said Roberts received phone calls from the sheriff's office a few hours after the stop to apologize and tell him the ticket was dismissed.
Roberts filed a complaint 10 days after the incident and wrote that he "felt so harassed I couldn't even remember where my insurance paper was in my car."
Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton told USA Today in a statement that his office directed Hovell-Cox to contact the sheriff's department Internal Affairs Division to file a complaint.
USA Today obtained a document which said Roberts's complaint was "not sustained" and the matter was closed. It also said a supervisor went through "refresher training on traffic stop procedures" with Watkins.