Officer who stopped Ryan Moats resigns

April 1, 2009 10:42:40 AM PDT
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. [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]

Officer Robert Powell had been placed on leave for the March 18 incident when he stopped Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats' SUV outside Baylor Regional Medical Center in suburban Plano after the vehicle rolled through a red light. Moats' wife, Tamishia, and other relatives were also in the car.

"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.

The officer pulled out his gun and threatened Moats with jail as the player pleaded to be allowed to go inside the hospital. Moats' mother-in-law, 45-year-old Jonetta Collinsworth, died before he got there, while Powell wrote Moats a ticket and lectured him.

Powell's resignation was first reported by Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT.

Powell later issued an apology, and Moats said he would accept it.

"I still hope to speak with the Moats family to personally express my deep regret, sympathy, and to apologize for my poor judgment and unprofessional conduct," he said in the Wednesday statement.

He also said he wanted to apologize to his fellow officers.

A call to Dallas police was not immediately returned Wednesday. Powell had been placed on paid leave pending an investigation.

According to video from a dashboard camera inside the officer's vehicle, Tamishia Moats and another woman disregarded Powell's order to get back inside their vehicle, and they rushed into the hospital.

Powell yelled at Tamishia Moats to stay in the SUV. "Excuse me, my mom is dying," Tamishia Moats said before going into the hospital. "Do you understand?"

She was by the side of her mother when Collinsworth died a short time later from breast cancer.

Moats 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.

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