Some Guys Just Gotta Be Jerks
No biggie, you say? Happens every day, you say? All cops are jerks, you say?
Well, this time the black man being stopped -- who admitted going through a red light en route to the hospital -- is a backup NFL running back for the Houston Texans, and the Dallas PD has put the jerk on administrative leave.
That's a step in the right direction. A better one would be to take this power-tripper's TCLOSE away, permanently. If he feels the need to use his powers for personal gain, he should understand the need to pay the price. Self-righteous, you say? No. Justice, I say. Look, you put on a uniform, you wear (or carry) a badge, you buckle on a holster and firearm, you are supposed to act like a grownup. You are supposed to set a good example. What you are NOT supposed to do is behave as though you are, personally, God's gift to the universe and anybody you encounter while you're working is the scum of the earth.
Is this special treatment because Moats is an NFL player? Quien sabe? (My private feeling is, yeah, probably. But maybe I'm wrong about that. I hope so. I hope the DPD has some internal procedures to discipline this sort of behavior. I hope the chief has the integrity to put an officer on administrative leave for treating the manager of a Mickey D's like this as well as a football star.)
Not every cop in Dallas is as big a jerk as Powell. But for now, they all look like they are, because of him.
It's not like the NFL is full of angels. But this young man was responding to an emergency, taking his wife to her mother's bedside when they received notice that she was dying. He had his wife's dad in the car with him, too. And Moats behaved ... in the most un-entitled manner possible, as evidenced by the video from the dashboard cam in Powell's car, even after Powell pulled a gun on Moats' wife, then pointed it at Moats and threatened to "screw you over".
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."
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.
Three years on the force, and this guy still thinks he's entitled to behave like Rush Limbaugh with a gun? He's not fit to wear the uniform or the badge. Period.
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.