A couple of weeks ago, Houston Texan running back Ryan Moats was rushing his family to hospital and was detained by the police. Moats' mother-in-law was on her death bed and he was detained by Officer Friendly (Officer Robert Powell a.k.a. 'The Man', the po-po, 5-0, you call it) in the hospital parking lot for running a red light.
Moats was polite and respectful to the Officer. In spite of being told about the situation, the officer continued to detain Moats, telling him to shut up and threatening to take him to jail for running a red light. In words spoken by the police to black men everywhere, Moats was told:
"I could charge you with fleeing right now. Understand what I could do.... I could make your life very difficult."From what I saw on the video, Officer Friendly did just that. Either he was an overzealous policeman or was just trying to show Moats his place. I think it was a combination of both. Black men, not even famous ones, get respect from the police. There's an automatic assumption of guilt and suspicion with black people which has come to be known as 'driving while black'. When stopped by the police, we get asked for everything but our first born. Did I mention that Officer Friendly had his gun drawn when he pulled Ryan Moats over? Is it really standard procedure to draw a weapon on a routine traffic stop?
At least Moats' wife Tamisha got to see her mother before she died but he wasn't so lucky, he ended up being detained for more than ten minutes and missed his mother-in-law's passing. When word got out about this incident, Officer Friendly was suspended with pay and put on desk duty by the Dallas Police Department. The Dallas Police Department issued an apology to Moats and his family.
Officer Friendly also issued an apology to the Moats' which they have accepted. While on desk duty, he must have had an epiphany and realized that he handled this situation improperly. I'm wondering what took him so long. As if flashing lights, the urgency of the situation and obviously distraught people rushing to a hospital aren't proof enough?? I'm not going to buy that, he just happened to stop the wrong black man, one who happened to be rich and famous.
Now if this was a generic around-the-way brother, who is poor and unknown, Officer Friendly would still have his job and the Dallas Police Department wouldn't have wasted their time investigating this complaint.