Video: Dallas Officer Prevents Man From Saying Goodbye to Dying Mother-in-Law Despite Pleas From Family, Nurses, and Another Police Officer

0325stopped_moA video from Plano, Texas shows a shocking scene as Ryan Moats – a running back for the Houston Texans — arrives with his wife to see his dying mother-in-law. While the mother-in-law is believed to be seconds from death, Officer Robert Powell stops him in the ER parking lot and demands proof of insurance. The video shows a heartbreaking scene as Moats desperately tries to say goodbye to his mother-in-law and Powell toys with him and threatens him with arrest. At one point, Powell, 25, says “I can screw you over. I’d rather not do that. She died before he was allowed inside. The video is below.

What is amazing is that the hospital nurses came out twice to beg Powell to let Moats say goodbye and to tell him that the woman had only seconds or minutes to live. Even a Plano police officer intervened to try to get Powell to show some sense and a modicum of mercy.moa618964

Powell is shown yelling a Ryan Moats’ wife, Tamishia, as she ran from the car to say goodbye to her mother: “Get in there. Let me see your hands. Get in there. Put your hands on the car.”

She says “Excuse me, my mom is dying” and ignored Powell’s commands to rush to her mother’s side.

Moats tells Powell, “I’ve got seconds before she’s gone, man.” But Powell appears to care less. He responds “Listen, if I can’t verify you have insurance…”

“My mother-in-law is dying,” Moats interrupted.

“Listen to me,” Officer Powell said.

“Right now,” Moats said. “You’re wasting my time.”

“If you can’t verify you have insurance, I’m going to tow your car,” the officer said. “So, you either find it or I am going to tow the car.”

As Moats objects, Powell escalates the threats.

“Shut your mouth. Shut your mouth. You can either settle down and cooperate or I can just take you to jail for running a red light.”

Powell does not care even with nurse tell him, “We’re blue coding her for the third time.”

The Plano officer tries to convince Powell to act like a human: “Hey, that’s the nurse. She says the mom is dying right now and she wants to know if I can get him up there.”

Powell waits 20 minutes and then tickets Moats for running a red light.

By that time, his mother-in-law was dead.

Obviously, Powell should not be a police officer or a member of any profession requiring a modicum of judgment or humanity. Unfortunately, we have seen other officers with the same lack of humanity in stopping women in labor or ticketing desperate parents.

The problem is that such incidents are rarely given any attention by departments in the absence of an embarrassing videotape — a problem that has recently snared a number of police officers in New York.

Fortunately, this video shows one officer who shows the compassion and sense lacking in Officer Powell.

For the video, click here.

For the story, click here.

28 thoughts on “Video: Dallas Officer Prevents Man From Saying Goodbye to Dying Mother-in-Law Despite Pleas From Family, Nurses, and Another Police Officer”

  1. ShireNomad,

    There are legal jurisdictional constraints that most likely prevented the Plano LEO for ‘directing’ the resolution of this incident. However, he certainly deserves recognition for what he tried to accomplish and for following up with a report to his superiors. The “impersonating a police officer” comment was good.

  2. “The other officer should have …arresting Powell.” “For impersonating a police officer.” Lol that’s reasonable. Then the Thin Blue Line behavior kicks into gear, but maybe I’m wrong. The Plano P O reported this up the chain of command to get Powell investigated. ShireNomad it’s progress!

  3. Pam from Plano,

    Your website is informative. Having other lawyers’ perspectives to the topics within this blawg are always welcomed and guaranteed to lengthen the debate and comprehension.

  4. The other officer should have allowed Moats and Co. to get through by arresting Powell. For impersonating a police officer. He could argue afterwards that it was more than reasonable to believe no actual cop would hold up someone seeing his mother-in-law in his last moments.

  5. Thanks Pam,
    It’s always good to get these things straight and to remember that there are many police out there who do take their job seriously and don’t use to gratify weak egos.

  6. Doesn’t Moats have a decent case of intentional infliction of emotional distress? I hope he’s suing.

  7. Shouldn’t feed the trolls, that’s what keeps ’em coming back.

  8. Lyn:
    You represent what the President said the other night in responding to a question from the press.

    “I like to know what I am talking about, before I say anything”.

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