A Dallas police officer that delayed Houston Texans’ running back Ryan Moats from visiting his mother-in-law before she died in a Plano hospital was reassigned to dispatch as the situation is being investigated. Read more on Ryan Moats’ sad story below and see the police dashcam video below.
The Dallas Morning News has video from a police dashboard camera that shows the Dallas police officer pulling over Texans running back Ryan Moats in front of the hospital where his mother-in-law lay dying of cancer.
Ryan Moats, his wife and other family members rushed from their Dallas home to Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano in the early morning hours of March 18th after receiving word at midnight that Moats’ mother-in-law, Jonetta Collinsworth, was dying from her breast cancer.
Ryan Moats’ vehicle had rolled through a red light and he was stopped by Officer Robert Powell in the hospital’s parking lot.
Officer Powell kept Moats and another family member for 13 minutes, threatening Moats with arrest and giving him a lecture. By the time Ryan Moat’s was released, his mother-in-law, Jonetta Collinsworth had already died.
The Moats family (who are black) can’t help but think that race may have played a role in how Officer Powell, who is white, treated them.
“I think he should lose his job,” said Ryan Moats, a Dallas native, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Dallas-Fort Worth television station WFAA-TV has obtained dashboard video from inside Powell’s cruiser, showing how everything went down with Officer Powell threatening Moats with arrest while his relative was dying.
From Dallas Morning News:
When the car was pulled over, Moats’ wife, Tamishia Moats, and her great aunt got out of the car to get into the hospital.
“Get in there!” Powell said, according to the Dallas Morning News’ account of the footage. “Let me see your hands!”
“My mom is dying,” Tamishia Moats replied. She and her great aunt ignored the officer and headed into the hospital, while Ryan Moats and another family member stayed behind, according to the report.
“I waited until no traffic was coming,” Moats told Powell, explaining why he had rolled through the red light. “I got seconds before she’s gone, man,” he said, the newspaper reported.
Powell demanded his license, which Moats produced, and proof of insurance, which Moats could not find. “Just give me a ticket or whatever,” Moats said, his frustration beginning to show, according to the report.
“Shut your mouth,” Powell told him, the newspaper reported. “You can cooperate and settle down, or I can just take you to jail for running a red light.”
In another exchange reported by the Morning News, Moats again asked the officer to complete the traffic stop quickly.
“If you’re going to give me a ticket, give me a ticket,” Moats said.
“Your attitude says that you need one,” Powell replied.
“All I’m asking you is just to hurry up,” Moats added.
“If you want to keep this going, I’ll just put you in handcuffs,” the officer said, “and I’ll take you to jail for running a red light.”
Powell continued on, making several more points, and Moats replied “Yes sir” to each.
“Understand what I can do,” Powell said, according to the report. “I can tow your truck. I can charge you with fleeing. I can make your night very difficult.”
“I understand,” Moats responded. “I hope you’ll be a great person and not do that.”
Hospital security guards then arrived and told Powell that the Moatses’ relative really was upstairs dying, the newspaper reported. But Powell spent several minutes inside his squad car, checking Moats for outstanding warrants. He found none.
Another hospital staff member emerged from the hospital and spoke with a Plano police officer who had arrived on the scene. “Hey, that’s the nurse,” the Plano officer told Powell, according to the Morning News. “She said that the mom’s dying right now, and she’s wanting to know if they can get him up there before she dies.”
“All right,” Powell replied, according to the report. “I’m almost done.”
As Moats signed the ticket, Powell made another point.
“Attitude’s everything,” he said, the newspaper reported. “All you had to do is stop, tell me what was going on. More than likely, I would have let you go.”
Powell, hired in January 2006, did not return a call for comment, the newspaper reported. But Dallas Assistant Chief Floyd Simpson said Powell told police officials that he believed that he was doing his job.
“When people are in distress, we should come to the rescue,” Simpson said, according to the report. “We shouldn’t further their distress.”