Friday, March 27, 2009


Dallas police officer Dudley Dumbass Doorite goes strictly by the book. No red light runner rushing his family to a hospital is going to escape being delayed, lectured and cited by Doorite's long arm of the law. Normally, I would designate officer Robert Powell as "Asshole Cop of the Month," but he is too stupid to be an asshole.

How do some of these senseless and insensitive jerks get to be cops in the first place? What is so surprising about this ugly incident is that Dallas has the reputation of having the best educated police officers in Texas. If Powell has a college degree, he is just another example of an educated idiot spawned from a dumbed-down multi-cultural higher education system.

What is truly astounding is how much restraint Ryan Moats showed while being harangued with 13 minutes of Powell's horseshit. With so many professional football players running afoul of the law, Moats' exemplary behavior under very trying circumstances deserves a special recognition award from the NFL.

Here is a report on Doorite's by-the-book police work from The Dallas Morning News:


By Steve Thompson and Tanya Eiserer
March 27, 2009

As a storm of outrage gathered over his department, Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle called a news conference Thursday to apologize for the behavior of an officer who detained a distressed family outside a hospital emergency room.

Kunkle said Officer Robert Powell had been placed on paid administrative leave in connection with the incident last week, in which he stopped a family rushing to visit a dying mother, keeping them for 13 minutes to write a traffic ticket. The woman died before two of the family members were able to see her.

"I am embarrassed and disappointed by the behavior of one of our police officers," the chief told a packed audience of media outlets that included Inside Edition. "His behavior, in my opinion, did not exhibit the common sense, discretion, the compassion that we expect our officers to exhibit."

During the traffic stop, caught on the officer's in-car camera, Powell berated the driver, 26-year-old NFL running back Ryan Moats, and threatened him with arrest for running a traffic light.

After seeing the video earlier this week, several senior police commanders knew they had a public relations crisis on their hands. A Plano police officer who was present at the March 17 incident had reported it to a superior, who had reported it to a Dallas police supervisor.

After news of the video broke late Wednesday, irate calls and e-mails started spilling into police headquarters.

Shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday, at the department's weekly crime meeting, many members of the command staff viewed the video for the first time. The reaction was one of disbelief and head shaking, said several who were present.

"People were just quiet," said Assistant Chief Floyd Simpson, who oversees the city's seven patrol stations. "Just, 'Oh, my God, I can't believe what I just saw.' "

Kunkle took the podium hours later in front of a dozen news cameras. At one point, he seemed to restrain himself from being too candid with his views on the incident.

"When we in the command staff reviewed the tapes," he said, "we were embarrassed, disappointed – it's hard to find the right words and still be professional in my role as a police chief."

The chief also praised Moats and his family for how they handled the officer's behavior.

"They exercised extraordinary patience, restraint, dealing with the behavior of our officer," Kunkle said. "At no time did Mr. Moats identify himself as an NFL football player or expect any kind of special consideration. He handled himself very, very well."

The video shows what happened after Moats, who plays for the Houston Texans, rolled through a red light in Dallas en route to Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano. Powell switched on his lights and sirens, caught up to the family's SUV, and followed for about 20 seconds as they found a parking spot near the hospital's emergency entrance.

Moats' mother-in-law, 45-year-old Jonetta Collinsworth, had been struggling with breast cancer. That night family members received word that they needed to hurry to the hospital because she was dying.

"You really want to go through this right now?" Moats pleaded to Powell. "My mother-in-law is dying. Right now!"

An argument followed, during which Powell lectured Moats and threatened him with arrest.

Kunkle acknowledged Thursday that Powell also drew his gun at the start of the incident.

"I understand that he admits to drawing his gun but not pointing it," the chief said.

Moats' wife, Tamishia Moats, has said otherwise.

"He was pointing a gun at me as soon as I got out of the car," she said. The video shows her pleading with him a moment, then ignoring him and walking into the hospital with her great-aunt.

Kunkle said that for Powell to draw his gun at first may be defensible. The SUV had not immediately stopped for him. People were piling out of it. The situation was uncertain.

"But as quickly as possible, he should have holstered his gun and apologized, once he found out what the circumstances were," Kunkle said, "and then tried to accommodate the Moatses the best he could getting access into the hospital."

Instead, Powell spent long minutes exercising his authority over Ryan Moats, whose grandfather-in-law – the father of the dying woman – stayed behind with him out of concern for his safety, the family has said.

Powell, 25, has not returned calls. He has defended his actions to department officials.

"My understanding is that Officer Powell, even when he saw the videotape, believed he had not acted inappropriately," Kunkle said.

As the video reached a national audience Thursday, featured among other places on the home page of, it became clear that many people disagreed. Thousands of comments poured onto The Dallas Morning News' Web site, most of them singling out Powell for derision.

"The majority of the comments reflect my position," said Kunkle, "that at the point the officer was told that they were responding to a dying family member, that should have been his concern: to allow those people to get access to that family member."

Police officials have contacted the Moats family to apologize, asked that the ticket be dismissed, and posted a statement of remorse on the department's Web page.

Asked at Thursday's news conference what officers are trained to do in such a situation, Kunkle said even someone with no police training should have known better than to do what Powell did.

"I don't know how you train for these circumstances, other than to hire people with common sense and good people skills," he said.

Department officials say the now-infamous video will likely make its way into the police academy's training curriculum.

Kunkle said the internal investigation against Powell will focus on conduct reflecting poorly on the department, as well as making unwarranted threats of arrest.

Powell also faces investigation for comments he made to another officer after the incident ended – while the video camera was still rolling. He said he "worded" a report in such a way as to justify a January police chase.

"It appears, what he said, to have been contrary to our pursuit policy," Kunkle said, "to where he may have lied about the circumstances under which the pursuit began."

The chief said any one of the charges could lead to dismissal.

WHAT THEY SAID: The traffic stop
Excerpts from Officer Robert Powell and Ryan Moats:

Moats: You really want to go through this right now? My mother-in-law is dying. Right now! ... I got seconds before she's dying, man!

Powell: If my mom was dying I'd probably be a little upset too, but when I saw flashing red and blues, I would stop.

Moats: Did I not stop at the red light?

Powell: You stopped, then you drove through the red light.

Moats: I stopped, I checked the traffic, I waved the traffic off, then I turned.

Powell: This is not an emergency vehicle. You do not have the right to control the traffic.

Moats: OK. All right ... just go ahead and check my insurance so I can go ahead and go. If you're gonna give me a ticket, give me a ticket. I really don't care, just ...

Powell: Your attitude says that you need one.

Moats: I don't have an attitude. All I'm asking you is just to hurry up. Cause you're standing here talking to me...

Powell: Shut your mouth and listen.

Moats: Shut my mouth? Is that how you talk to me, too?

Powell: Shut your mouth and listen. If you want to keep this going, I'll just put you in handcuffs, and I'll take you to jail for running a red light.

Moats: OK. All right.

Powell: I can do that.

Moats: OK.

Powell: State law says I can.

Moats: Yes, sir. Go ahead.

Powell: If you don't settle down that's what I'm gonna do.

Moats: Yes, sir.

Powell: All right, If you don't settle down, your truck's illegally parked – I'll tow that as well.

Moats: Yes, sir.

Powell: OK, I can screw you over. I'd rather not do that. Your attitude will dictate everything that happens, and right now, your attitude sucks.

Moats: Yes, sir.

Powell: OK, I turned my red and blues on as you were going over the bridge ...

Moats: You think I'm gonna stop when my wife's mother is dying?

Powell: You are required to stop. What you're doing does not matter. Red and blues, you have to stop. I can charge you with fleeing right now.

Moats: Yes, sir. ...

Powell: I can take you to jail. I can tow your truck. I can charge you with fleeing.

Moats: Yes, sir, you can. I understand.

Powell: I can make your night very difficult.

Moats: I hope you'll be a great person and not do that.

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