New England Patriots player Elandon Roberts has accused the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department of harassment after deputies confronted him in the driveway of his home, ABC 13 reports.
On March 10, Roberts was pulled over by authorities. A deputy’s dash cam recorded the incident with audio. In the video, you can see Roberts get out of his car, but is immediately told to get back in his car by Deputy Adam Watkins.
“Get back in the car, get back in the car,” Watkins says in the video. Roberts replies, “This is my house.” However, the officer continued to shout out Roberts. “Shut the door, shut the door, put the hands on the steering wheel and roll down the window, do it now!” Watkins says. Watkins can then be heard saying, “The big black man got out of the car, I told him to get back in, and he wouldn’t comply,” to another deputy.
Roberts complied, and just nine minutes later he was told he could go free. Police told the 25-year-old he was stopped for a basic speeding violation but not until nine minutes into the ordeal. “Unfortunately, these types of things are happening all too often to African-Americans,” the two-time Super Bowl champ told USA Today in a statement. “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.”
He added: “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.” Ten days after the incident, Roberts filed complaint writing that he “felt so harassed I couldn’t even remember where my insurance paper was in my car.”
On May 20, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department’s internal affairs division wrote that Robert’s complaint wasn’t substantiated. ABC 13 reports Roberts’ attorney, Jeannine Hovell-Cox, told USA Today she requested that country’s district attorney open up an investigation. Brian M. Middleton replied, saying Roberts was directed to contact internal affairs.