Dallas officer talks of Moats traffic stop

March 31, 2009 4:49:55 PM PDT
The Dallas police officer who stopped a Houston Texans player and kept him from seeing his dying mother-in-law is speaking out. He's apologizing for what he calls a serious error in judgment. [WATCH: Police dashcam video of Moats stop, Part 1]
[WATCH: Police dashcam video of Moats stop, Part 2]
[WATCH: Officer Powell interview, Part 1]
[WATCH: Officer Powell interview, Part 2]

They're the first public comments from the police officer who stirred national outrage for a traffic stop he says he deeply regrets. Officer Robert Powell says looking back, he should have handled the situation differently.

"I do not know why I talked to him that manner," said Powell.

Ryan Moats of the Houston Texans, and his wife, Tamisha, were rushing to a Dallas area hospital to see her dying mother. But Officer Powell would not let Moats go inside.

"Well, when I got out, I thought if I explained it to him, he would understand," Moats told GMA earlier this week. "So I went to explain it to him."

Powell finally did let Moats go, but it was too late. His mother in law, 45-year-old Jonetta Collinsworth, had died.

"If I were in that situation again, I would take them inside, let them be with their mother, which is where they needed to be and if I could take it back, I would," he said.

Powell was put on paid administrative leave. He says he's been getting death threats, and he is concerned for the safety of his wife and two young children. Powell says he has a message to everyone out there.

"That is not me and that is not every officer that is out there on the streets across the country and I hope anybody watching this, officer or not, can see my mistake and know that this is not the way to handle this kind of situation," said Powell.

The Moats family has already accepted Powell's written apology. The officer says he's making arrangements to meet with them in person.

      Headline check | 100 most recent local stories | News alerts
            Slideshow archive | ABC13 wireless | Help solve crimes


Load Comments