Variations On A Theme

More

I don't mean to make this Criminal Justice Day at the Atlantic, but a comment just linked this incredible story, that must be read to be believed:

Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle stood in front of a dozen news cameras this afternoon at police headquarters to apologize for the behavior of an officer who stopped a family outside a hospital emergency room.

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

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.

"I can screw you over," said Powell, 25. "I'd rather not do that.

Moats was speeding because his mother-in-law was upstairs dying. He recieved a call that he and his wife should get to the hospital if they wanted to see the woman before she passed. Moats explained this several times, the cop did not care.

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."

Moats rolled through a red light as he and his wife were en route to Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano. A Dallas police squad car pulled their SUV over near the hospital's emergency entrance.

Moats and his wife implored the officer to let them hurry on to the bedside of her ill mother.

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

His wife, Tamishia Moats, said Powell "was pointing a gun at me as soon as I got out of the car. It was the weirdest feeling because I've never had a gun pointed at me before under those circumstances."

Powell then spent long minutes writing Moats a ticket and threatening him with arrest...
Read the whole story. It's pretty shocking, in all kinds of ways. The officer did this despite the fact that his camera was recording the stop. You really have to wonder what would happen if this dude had not have been a ball-player. Also, check out Moats response to the cop. I think a lot of black men will relate. It reminded me so much of how my mother taught me to deal with the police.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In