More Police Officers Should Resign
(after inexcusable behavior)
by Chris Stevenson
Whenever an officer of the law displays obnoxious behavior in full view or hearing range of his own vehicle camera, then his job description has been compromised and he should then promptly resign. Don’t treat the recent resignation of Officer Robert Powell of the Dallas Police Department lightly, there are a whole slew of cops throughout the US who would have convinced themselves they did the right thing and shamelessly refused to resign. I live in Buffalo, we have couple dozen officers who would have flipped the bird at Moats, his wife And mother-in-law in the aftermath of such outrageous police conduct.
Give Powell credit for recognizing his limitations. Staying on the job meant that his infamous statement to Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats (“I can screw you over”) would have come back to haunt him even if he flew to Binghampton NY last week and single-handedly took down Jiverly Wong and saved most of the victims. There are those who would justify Powell’s behavior because he caught Moats red-handed, or red-lighted, moving through a traffic device. An airtight argument is in his favor were he just handing out a ticket to Moats, not for an officer to pull his gun out, point it at Moats and yell at his wife to stay in the SUV.
The extenuating circumstances that Moats were trying to explain to Powell wasn’t hard to understand, his mother-in-law on her death bed. Moats was well within the vicinity of the Baylor Regional Medical Center, so it’s not as if he were driving recklessly. Powell’s antics was somewhere between Barney Fife-like overreaction to simple ignorant control-freak. What isn’t being emphasized is there was a 2nd officer with Powell who actually checked and confirmed that Moat’s mother-in-law was indeed dying. Powell still continued writing the ticket and giving his Captain America speeches (a troublesome temptation that plagues many American law enforcement officers). Stupidity in the line of facts. Not cool.
I really don’t know if the 25-year-old Powell resigned because he took an honest look at his behavior on 3/18 and himself and his own inability to assess people and situations and determined he is just a young boy in over his head in a no-brainer situation, or because he just looked at the bottom line. But what had to really do him in on the film footage (remember, Powell’s dashboard camera was rolling) was Moat’s exemplary conduct. Not Once throughout the whole ordeal did he snipe that he was an NFL player.
Ryan Moats response to Powell was based on the immediate situation, coldly leaving Powell enough rope to hang himself. All the while Powell continued acting like a Domino’s Pizza delivery guy just granted a uniform and badge because he’s white. Moats is Black, he played the race card by omission because that left Powell with the only type of man he thought he was dealing with. Would the exact same scenario happen under the same circumstance, only with Eli Manning or Brett Farve or Jeremy Shocky behind the wheel with their wives rushing to see her mom, which of you would wonder how Powell would have handled the situation. Yup, Powell you did the right thing… retiring that is. His retirement should be the thing that lingers longest in the memory of all his fellow officers who previously thought such behavior was necessary or OK.
Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, he also writes for the Buffalo Challenger Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org