Officer Robert Powell of the Dallas, Texas recently resigned following a hailstorm of controversy after he detained Ryan Moats outside a hospital where his wife’s mom was dying.
The reports said the in-car video showed a 13-minute “berating” of the Moats by the officer following a red light violation. If you didn’t see it, it’s all over YouTube.
I got a lot of calls and e-mails from people wanting a response to it. Well here it is: Stupid is stupid, regardless of if you’re wearing a uniform or not. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a long time.
It was obvious the woman was in distress and although Moats stayed back and did what he was requested to do, he couldn’t get across the point that this was an exceptional circumstance to running the red light.
The officer resigned. He should. If that’s the extent of his discretion, then he’s in the wrong line of work. Good riddance.
In-car video is a good thing. It serves to unfound a large percentage of internal affairs complaints and provides work for the folks at TRU-TV. Our in-car videos are categorized by the officers and then reviewed by the sergeants. They are used for citizen complaints and obviously car chases and other incidents. We love them and they are very interesting. To me, it’s a great thing that in this case, the video provides something that cannot be disputed in the old “he said this and I said that” contest. It makes for tremendous evidence in court and humorous evidence for the gag reels on television’s “Drunks on Lawnmowers” and other human silliness.
Don’t think that this business doesn’t make us (Those Police People) just as angry. It does. I could sit and tell you this is the exception to the rule, which it is, but every so often you get some goober that wipes all of our noses in the mud. I hate it because it opens the door to dozens of cheap shots but it is what it is.
I missed out on the “video generation” when I was in a patrol car back when Adam-12 was on prime time and Brave’s Bob Horner had his first wrist injury. I’m glad I didn’t have it because after a few hours of riding around alone in the car, I’d talk to myself too much. How’s that for evidence. I wouldn’t have survived the first Internal Affairs complaint.How do you profess to be sane and competent when there’s video and audio of you singing “Old Man River” in your best James Earl Jones voice? Boredom does things to you.
I once did an in-car drum solo to “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” while waiting for the wrecker to pull a car out of the ditch during one of our ice storms. The driver was on the way to buy milk and bread at the store after failing to heed Johnny Beckman’s advice to stay home. Remember Johnny Beckman? He was later sort of cloned into Ken Cook, tomato aficionado.
The in-car video is a good tool for another reason: You can review and then help teach officers where to strengthen their safety on traffic stops or incidents. It’s like practice film.
Where they stand, how they posture, all sorts of things can be used to make them safer during dangerous situations.
It’s a crazy world out there but this guy didn’t represent us. Not at all.