Police chief says something reasonable about bad cop
This is a discussion on Police chief says something reasonable about bad cop within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Texans' Ryan Moats delayed by cop en route to see dying relative - NFL - SI.com
Texas cop delays Texans RB Moats at hospital as ...
March 27th, 2009 02:10 AM
Police chief says something reasonable about bad cop
Texans' Ryan Moats delayed by cop en route to see dying relative - NFL - SI.com
Texas cop delays Texans RB Moats at hospital as mother-in-law dies
DALLAS (AP) -- A police officer was placed on administrative leave Thursday over a traffic stop involving an NFL player whom he kept in a hospital parking lot and threatened to arrest while his mother-in-law died inside the building.
Officer Robert Powell also drew his gun during the March 18 incident involving Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats in the Dallas suburb of Plano, police said.
"I can screw you over," he said at one point in the videotaped incident. When another officer came with word that Moats' mother-in-law was indeed dying, Powell's response was: "All right. I'm almost done."
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Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle apologized to the family and announced that Powell would be on paid leave pending an internal investigation.
"When we at the command staff reviewed the tape, we were embarrassed, disappointed," Kunkle said. "It's hard to find the right word and still be professional in my role as the police chief. But the behavior was not appropriate."
Powell, 25, a three-year member of the force, stopped Moats' SUV outside Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano after Moats rolled through a red light.
Police officials said Powell told his commanders he believed he was doing his job, and that he drew his gun but did not point it. Kunkle said Powell was not necessarily acting improperly when he pulled his weapon out, but that once he realized what was happening should have put the gun back, apologized and offered to help the family in any way.
"His behavior, in my opinion, did not exhibit the common sense, the discretion, the compassion that we expect our officers to exhibit," Kunkle said.
Moats' wife, who was in the car along with other relatives, said Powell pointed his weapon at her.
"He was pointing a gun at me as soon as I got out of the car," Tamishia Moats told The Dallas Morning News.
Ryan Moats told KRLD-FM in Dallas in a phone interview Thursday that after the officer pointed the gun at his wife, he pointed it at him. "I just tried to stay as still as possible to not scare him or do anything to make him react," he said.
He earlier told the newspaper he thought Powell should be fired but backed off that in his radio interview.
"All I know is what he did was wrong," Moats said. "He stole a moment away from me that I can never get back. I'm really not the judge on what should happen to him."
The Moats family did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press. Powell did not respond to requests for comment through the Dallas police union.
Video from a dashboard camera inside the officer's vehicle, obtained by Dallas-Fort Worth station WFAA-TV, revealed an intense exchange in which the officer threatened to jail Moats.
He ordered Tamishia Moats, 27, to get back in the SUV, but after pausing for a few seconds, she and another woman rushed into the hospital. She was by the side of her mother, 45-year-old Jonetta Collinsworth, when she died a short time later from breast cancer.
"Get in there," said Powell, yelling at Tamishia Moats as she exited the vehicle. "Let me see your hands!"
"Excuse me, my mom is dying," Tamishia Moats said. "Do you understand?"
Ryan Moats explained that he waited until there was no traffic before proceeding through the red light. When Powell asked for proof of insurance, Moats grew more agitated and told the officer to go find it.
"My mother-in-law is dying! Right now! You're wasting my time!" Moats yelled. "I don't understand why you can't understand that."
As they argued, the officer got irritated.
"Shut your mouth," the officer said. "You can either settle down and cooperate or I can just take you to jail for running a red light."
By the time the 26-year-old NFL player received a ticket and a lecture from Powell, about 13 minutes had passed. When he and Collinsworth's father entered the hospital, they learned Collinsworth was dead.
Earl Jackson, Collinsworth's father, said he knew what Powell was doing was wrong. "This guy, he wouldn't listen to nobody," Jackson said in an interview with Dallas-Fort Worth station KDFW-TV.
Moats said he wouldn't have had a problem with the officer giving him a ticket after letting him go into the hospital.
"I don't know what he was thinking," he told KRLD-FM. "Basically, I was just shocked. I was very shocked that he wasn't budging on it. I even said I can't believe that this was happening."
Kunkle said the video showed that Moats and his wife "exercised extraordinary patience, restraint in dealing with the behavior of our officer."
"At no time did Mr. Moats identify himself as an NFL football player or expect any kind of special consideration," Kunkle said. "He handled himself very, very well."
The Moats family, who are black, said they can't help but think that race might have played a part in the white officer's behavior.
"I think he should lose his job," Ryan Moats said.
When the exchange was at its most contentious, Powell said he could tow Moats' SUV if he didn't have insurance and that he could arrest him for fleeing because he didn't immediately stop when Powell turned on his sirens. The pursuit lasted a little more than a minute.
"I can screw you over," Powell said. "I'd rather not do that. Your attitude will dictate everything that happens."
The ticket issued to Moats was dismissed, Dallas police spokesman Lt. Andy Harvey said.
Texans spokesman Kevin Cooper said the team had no comment.
Moats, a third-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005 out of Louisiana Tech, was cut by the Eagles in August and later signed with the Texans. In three seasons as a backup, he's rushed for 441 yards and scored four touchdowns.
He was a standout at Bishop Lynch High School, a private school in Dallas, rushing for more than 2,600 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior.
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March 27th, 2009 02:34 AM
That is just screwed up. If the officer doesn't lose his job, he at least needs a very long unpaid vacation.
March 27th, 2009 02:41 AM
It's very screwed up. I would love to think racism doesn't exist or that police officers can at least check their personal feelings at the door. But sadly it seems there are still bad apples that get on the force.
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March 27th, 2009 11:05 AM
Dallas has their share of raving lunatics on the force. Maybe this will be a wake up call, but I doubt it.
March 27th, 2009 11:26 AM
Yep, anytime you have better things to do, you should run red lights, ignore an officers siren, ignore officers comments to keep your hands visible, and just go on with what you were doing.
Obviously, the officer did not show compassion, but then again, thats not his job. His job is to enforce the laws...
Moats admits to running the red light, admits to not stopping when he was being pulled over, admits to refusing to provide insurance, and admits to giving his family directions which conflicted with the officers lawful commands.
I just kind of think if it had happened to a 'regular' person, this would not be getting the media attention it is, and I think the Departments position might be quite a bit different.
In every other thread, we talk about our responsibility during a traffic stop, i.e. following commands, pulling over immediately, keeping our hands on the steering wheel, etc.
In this thread, Moats does everything wrong, and yet somehow he has the support of the media and this forum?
Sheesh, talk about hypocrisy.
March 27th, 2009 11:44 AM
I don't know, I can see it from both sides. How many people make BS excuses after getting pulled over?
I'm sure it could've been handled differently, but I can also understand why the officer did what he did.
March 27th, 2009 11:47 AM
Yep, next time your pulled over and your wife, child whoever is with you, have them run away from the vehicle for whatever reason.
This is pretty screwed up, but very little blame should be on the officer. Had Moats not run the red light he would have had plenty of time to be with his dying mother. Or if he had made a call, he could have possilbly gotten a police escourt to get him there on time.
I really like the line of go find it yourself on the insurance thing. I want one of our members to try that one out on the next stop and tell us how it plays out for your.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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March 27th, 2009 11:47 AM
what exactly is the point of PAID time off?! how the hell is that a punishment, hell he is getting paid to sit on his ass. thats just retarded
March 27th, 2009 11:50 AM
Cops deal with liars and cheats every day. How many excuses do you think they hear? Moats broke several laws , then disobeyed officer commands. Monday morning QB'ing shows Moats was indeed going to see his dying mother in law, however how would the officer know this? This would have been far better if Moats had stopped immediately and explained .
Hopefully the officer in question will be placed back on duty without repercussions.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
March 27th, 2009 11:58 AM
Simple, innocent until proven guilty. If they give him unpaid leave and the investigation shows he does nothing wrong then there's a lawsuit coming.
Originally Posted by mutumbo
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March 27th, 2009 12:03 PM
for those who side with the officer, please watch the video. The ENTIRE video. The officer admits ON CAMERA to lying in the past to justify his actions.
In my opinion, the simple fact that another LEO came out and requested for Moats to be allowed to see his mother in law speaks volumes.
This is an example of more badge than brains or common sense.
March 27th, 2009 12:08 PM
Sounds like that young man "25 YO Cop" was on a power trip! He needs his wings clipped if you ask me.
CCW: Never get killed for lack of shooting back!
March 27th, 2009 12:18 PM
oh. . . .
Originally Posted by 500Mag
March 27th, 2009 12:22 PM
I don't side with either one of them. I just don't think being in a hurry to get somewhere gives you a reason to break laws, run from the cops, and ignore their commands.
Originally Posted by Precision
March 27th, 2009 01:14 PM
The stop happened in the parking lot immediately outside the entrance to the ER. The officer could easily have gone in and verified the excuse. As someone already noted, another officer attempted to intervene.
Had he stopped a speeder who told him he was on the way to the hospital for an emergency he would be expected to facilitate getting the speeder to the hospital and to not stall and make the emergency worse. Which, is what he did here.
I watched the tape and though I think there was fault on the athlete's part, especially not being able to produce the insurance papers, the cop's reactions were ridiculous. He threatened to arrest him for not showing the insurance papers. Duh, a ticket is issued for that infraction and the ticket is dismissed when the proof of insurance is taken to the court clerk. To threaten an arrest over that issue is absurd.
Very poor judgment was used by the officer. I don't think it is a firing offense but the incident is a good one for training in the difference between right and wrong, sense and no-sense.
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