The Latest: Sheriff apologizes to NFL player, defends deputy

AP

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FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots' Elandon Roberts (52) rides a duck boat during the Patriots parade through downtown Boston to celebrate their win over the Los Angeles Rams in NFL Super Bowl 53. Roberts is condemning his treatment by a Texas sheriff's deputy who referred to him as a "big black man" during a March traffic stop. Roberts in a statement to USA Today says "these types of things are happening all too often to African-Americans." The linebacker was returning to his home southwest of Houston and was followed by the Fort Bend County deputy before the deputy initiated the stop as Roberts drove into his driveway. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

RICHMOND, Texas (AP) — The Latest on a Texas traffic stop involving New England Patriots player Elandon Roberts (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

A Texas sheriff says he's apologized to New England Patriots player Elandon Roberts for the actions of a deputy during a March traffic stop but also defended the deputy for making the stop.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said Friday during a news conference that he spoke with Roberts and his attorney and said the deputy should not have taken so long with the traffic stop.

Roberts was stopped as he pulled into the driveway of his Houston-area home and Nehls also says Deputy Adam Watkins was wrong to order Roberts' wife back inside the home when she saw flashing lights and stepped outside.

Watkins, in speaking to a colleague, referred to Roberts as a "big, black male" but Nehls defended the reference to race, saying the deputy was simply offering a description of the driver.

Roberts was issued a speeding ticket for traveling 59 mph in a 35 mph zone. Sheriff's Capt. Steve Holtz says the ticket later was changed to a warning at the deputy's request.

___

1 p.m.

New England Patriots player Elandon Roberts is condemning his treatment by a Texas sheriff's deputy heard on dash-cam video referring to Roberts as a "big black male" during a March traffic stop.

The Fort Bend County deputy also is heard telling a colleague that Roberts "wouldn't comply" with an order to get back into his car after the linebacker got out.

But a copy of the video provided by Roberts' attorney shows Roberts, with his arms raised, briefly hesitating before getting back inside as ordered.

Roberts was returning to his home southwest of Houston when he was stopped as he entered his driveway.

He was issued a speeding ticket and citation for failing to provide proof of insurance. His attorney, Jennine Hovell-Cox, says the sheriff's office later withdrew the citations and apologized.

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