Powell resigns after Moats incident
DALLAS -- The police officer who pulled out his gun and threatened an NFL player with jail instead of allowing him inside a hospital where his mother-in-law was dying resigned Wednesday.
Officer Robert Powell had been placed on paid leave pending an investigation of the March 18 incident.
"I made this decision in the hope that my resignation will allow the Dallas Police Department, my fellow officers and the citizens of Dallas to better reflect on this experience, learn from the mistakes made, and move forward," Powell said in a statement issued through his attorneys.
I made this decision in the hope that my resignation will allow the Dallas Police Department, my fellow officers and the citizens of Dallas to better reflect on this experience, learn from the mistakes made, and move forward.” -- Officer Robert Powell
The officer pulled out his gun and threatened Moats with jail as the player and his family pleaded to be allowed to go inside the hospital. Powell continued writing Moats a ticket and lecturing him even after a fellow officer confirmed that Moats' mother-in-law was dying.
"I can screw you over," Powell, 25, can be heard saying on the video. "I'd rather not do that. Your attitude will dictate everything that happens."
Jonetta Collinsworth, 45, died of breast cancer before Powell allowed Moats to go inside the hospital.
Powell issued an apology, which Moats' agent, Jordan Woy, said Moats and his wife have accepted.
Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT reported that a planned meeting between Powell and the Moatses would not happen. Powell's attorney Bob Gorsky, told the television station that they were told the in-person apology would have to be made publicly and with the media present. He said they felt those terms were unacceptable.
Woy said in an e-mail Wednesday to The Associated Press that there would be no meeting.
Powell had said he wanted the meeting with the couple to "personally express my deep regret, sympathy, and to apologize for my poor judgment and unprofessional conduct." He also said he wanted to apologize to his fellow officers.
Dallas police said in a statement Wednesday that Powell "resigned under his own accord." Because he resigned while under investigation, he won't be eligible for rehire with the department, police said. An internal investigation into Powell's actions will continue, police said.
According to video from a dashboard camera inside the officer's vehicle, Moats' wife, Tamishia Moats, and another woman disregarded Powell's order to get back inside their vehicle, and they rushed into the hospital. After Powell yelled at Tamishia Moats to stay in the SUV, she said, "Excuse me, my mom is dying -- do you understand?"
Moats, 26, explained that he had waited until there was no traffic before continuing through the red light. When Powell asked for proof of insurance, Moats grew more agitated and told the officer to go find it.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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