NFL's Moats Accepts Officer's Apology

DALLAS (AP) -- An NFL player said Monday he accepts the apology offered by a Dallas police officer who stopped him with a drawn gun in a hospital parking lot while his mother-in-law was dying inside.

Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that he hopes Officer Robert Powell was sincere in his apology.

Powell stopped Moats' SUV outside Baylor Regional Medical Center in suburban Plano on March 18 after the vehicle rolled through a red light. Moats' wife, Tamishia, and other relatives were also in the car.

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 died before he got there while Powell write Moats a ticket and lectured him.

Powell, who has been placed on paid leave pending an investigation, issued a statement Friday through his attorneys.

"I wish to publicly and sincerely apologize to the Moats family, my colleagues in the Dallas Police Department, and to all those who have been rightfully angered by my actions on March 18, 2009. After stopping Mr. Moats' vehicle, I showed poor judgment and insensitivity to Mr. Moats and his family by my words and actions," Powell's statement said.

Tamishia Moats said she'd like to hear the apology personally, but that she, too, would definitely accept it.

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. She was by the side of her mother, 45-year-old Jonetta Collinsworth, when she died a short time later from breast cancer.

Powell yelled at Tamishia Moats to stay in the SUV.

"Excuse me, my mom is dying," Tamishia Moats said. "Do you understand?"

Ryan Moats later said the officer pointed his gun at his wife and then at him.

He explained that he 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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  • by Barbara Location: Sampson on Mar 31, 2009 at 06:33 AM
    I think this policeman should be discpline by his supervisors, take some classes in dealing with compassion, and do some community service work off duty. He also needs to personal apology to the family. That is if he is a man of his word and mean what he said. Even if he has some doubts, once the hospital staff came out and said he needs to go now, even if he wanted to give him a ticket he could have waited. At that moment he had nothing to prove to the man. It almost seems like racism at work in his words. I don't care if she is dying I am the one in charge. Then for him to draw his gun out on two woman trying to leave the car and go into the hospital. I think his attitude got in the way of common sense. Maybe he needs to teach a class in the academy on holding people from seem their dying relative. I think it is made the hold police force look bad in that city.
  • by wow on Mar 31, 2009 at 06:28 AM
    This Moats guy seems to be a class act. He has handled himself well.
  • by Jimbo Location: NC on Mar 30, 2009 at 02:53 PM
    Goes to show that the Moats are big people. Not many folks would accept an apology for such a terrible thing. I am REALLY surprised that Sharpton and Jackson have not weighed in. These pathetic losers are so marginalized that I really thought they would use this as a chance to get their faces on TV and put a few more bucks in their pockets.
  • by anonymous on Mar 30, 2009 at 02:12 PM
    This police officer behaved disgracefully. If he was my son I would be embarrassed. This citizen needed help and instead he threw a barricade in the way. When you see a fellow human being in need you don't act like this. Most police officers behave better than this.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 30, 2009 at 01:33 PM
    I'm sure a little financial support from the NAACP helped in this overrated jock accepting an apology. Sharpton and Jackson will be next.
  • by Janelle on Mar 30, 2009 at 12:39 PM
    Dallas PD has some heartless officers. A lot of great ones, too. I hope that Officer Powell is made an example of for the rest of the department.

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