Recall if you will (and it’s pretty difficult to forget) the flagrant mistreatment of Houston Texans tailback Ryan Moats by Robert Powell, an officer with the Dallas Police Department. Just because it bears repeating, Moats and his wife were held at gunpoint by Powell after Moats rolled through a red light after stopping and checking for traffic, then pulled into the hospital two blocks away instead of stopping immediately for Powell. Moats was then detained and lectured in a cruelly authoritarian manner by Powell outside the hospital as his mother-in-law passed away.
(Oh, and pointing a gun at Moats’ wife, at right, wasn’t a good move either.)
As the story has caught the nation’s attention, the Dallas PD has decided to run some damage control, issuing a public apology to Moats and placing Powell on a paid suspension (it’s like a vacation, but instead of going to a beach, you worry). And yet we can’t help but wonder if there’d be any publicity, suspension, apology or anything if Moats wasn’t a professional athlete.
Have you ever been pulled over by a cop who says something to the effect of “you better have a good reason for doing what you just did”? Well, Texans running back Ryan Moats had a pretty good reason, but that didn’t seem to phase a Dallas police officer Robert Powell, who’s might be just about the biggest jerk in the world.
Moats, his wife Tamishia, and two other family members had received news that Tamishia’s mother Jonetta Collinsworth was within minutes of death from cancer, and that they needed to rush to the hospital immediately if they wanted to see her one last time. So they all piled in Moats’ SUV and raced to the hospital in Plano. Moats drove with his hazards on, and went through a red light when another motorist waved him along. That’s when Powell started following them, and what happened next doesn’t exactly help to dispel the notion that officers are too often all about being on a power trip rather than doing what’s in the best interest of the people.