There are a couple of niggling details about the Aaron Roberts shooting that really bother me. On the morning after the shooting, the media reported that when Officer Neubert reached inside the car to get Roberts’ driver’s license and registration, Roberts stepped on the gas and dragged Neubert along with him. Reaching inside the car at a traffic stop is against SPD procedure, so that story didn’t last long. A couple of days later, the SPD said that Roberts grabbed Neubert’s arm and pulled it inside the car and then put the car in gear and stepped on the gas.
Now, I suppose it’s possible that a large man can hold another large man’s arm with his left hand while shifting with his right hand and steering with his chin and stepping on the gas with his foot. Some folks are that strong and coordinated. But what really bothers me is this: Neubert didn’t have a broken arm or dislocated shoulder. No. He had bruised ribs and a sore back. To someone who studies martial arts, as I do–who, in fact, studies ways to break arms and dislocate shoulders and separate ribs, who thinks about body mechanics all the time–that story doesn’t add up.
Neubert must have been half inside the car when Roberts stepped on the gas. Perhaps he was reaching for the keys to shut off the car. Maybe he was trying to punch or choke Roberts. He was, at the very least, doing something that violates SPD procedures.