When cops go bad

Mar 28th, 2009 | By | Category: Blogs, Opinions

Mike Courson

Guest Contributor

Frequently, I see something on the news that just sickens me. Recently, video surfaced of Dallas police officer Robert Powell pulling over a driver after said driver went through a red light and several stop signs. As it turns out, the driver was trying to get himself and family members to the hospital for his mother-in-law’s final moments.

The video bothers me as a former police officer and humanitarian. As the officer has since stated, he did nothing wrong. He followed all of the rules. He is probably correct.

However, I am sure it is not DPD policy to hire robots. Police officers are given discretion for a reason. In this case, the driver, NFL running back Ryan Moats, waited at the red light until he could safely cross.

He safely rolled through stop signs in a low traffic area with his emergency flashers working. He never appeared to drive at an unsafe speed. Officer Powell should have been tipped off of the situation as soon as Moats pulled into the hospital parking lot. If further action was needed, it could have been handled later.

Instead, Powell demanded this and that from Moats and the other passengers. At one time, a hospital guard and nurse came outside to told the officer the seriousness of the situation inside. The officer tells all he is almost done, and continues to detain a frustrated Moats.

In the end, Jonet Collingsworth died before Moats could get inside the hospital and to her room. Because of the actions of this police officer, and his lack of discretion and ability to make decisions on the scene, a man was denied the final seconds of a family member.

Fortunately, the chief of police has suspended Powell and called the incident embarrassing. Powell will like face disciplinary action for his handling of the situation. Unfortunately, it takes an incident like this to remove bad cops from the streets.


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