An NFL player said Monday that 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 wrote 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.
Later Monday morning, Ryan and Tamishia issued a statement through the Texans.
“The Moats family would like to thank the public for all their support and for expressing their condolences during this difficult time,” the statement read. “We will now be focusing on our family and healing during this time of grievance.”
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.