The Dallas Police Department have apologized after it was disclosed that NFL player Ryan Moats and his family were prevented from seeing Moats mother-in-law as she died in hospital.
Moats was driving his wife and relatives to the Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, Texas after receiving a call that his terminally ill mother-in-law was about to die. Near the hospital, after stopping, putting on his hazard lights, and being signaled by another motorist that he was clear to proceed (and with no other cars in the vicinity), Moats proceeded through the red light. Hidden out of site, Office Robert Powell flicked on his lights and pulled Moats over at the entrance to the hospital.
Moats and his wife explained to the situation to Powell and ask him to let them proceed into the hospital. Instead, Powell pulled a gun on Moats’ wife, then Moats, and threatened to arrest them all. 13 minutes later, and with repeated threats from Officer Powell, Moats was allowed to enter the hospital, but only after hospital staff intervened. While this was happening, the mother-in-law died.
Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle told a press conference that Officer Robert Powell has been placed on paid administrative leave in connection with an incident. “His behavior in my opinion, did not exhibit the common sense, discretion, the compassion that we expect our officers to exhibit.” Kunkle also praised Moats and his family, saying that “They exercised extraordinary patience, restraint, 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. He handled himself very, very well.”
Notably Moats is African American, while the officer is white.
The entire incident was caught on video, and here’s exactly what happened: