Translating The Dallas Cop Who Hassled Ryan Moats

By now you've no doubt read accounts and watched the video of a Dallas cop harassing Texans running back Ryan Moats, who was rushing to the hospital to see his dying mother-in-law in the few moments she had before dying.

We've lived in Dallas in the past, and it's obvious what happened here is the classic "failure to communicate."

As a way of helping, we'll translate some of what Dallas cop Robert Powell said as he chatted with Moats while his mother-in-law was moments away from dying.

What Powell said: After Moats noted he had mere seconds before his mom-in-law died, Powell demanded to see his insurance and registration.
What that means:  In Dallas, insurance and registration is a life-and-death matter. Priorities, people.

What Powell said: "Shut your mouth."
What that means: "Since I realize your mother-in-law is dying, I'm going to be sympathetic and not check your mouth for hidden drugs. No anal search, either! That's because this is the new, empathetic Dallas PD!"

What Powell said: "If my mom was dying, I'd probably be a little upset too, but when I saw flashing red and blue [lights], I'd stop."
What that means: "God, I've always hated my mother."

What Powell said: "Understand what I can do. I can tow your truck. I can charge you with fleeing. I can make your night very difficult."
What that means: "I am General Zod. Your ruler. Yes, today begins a new order. Your lands, your possessions, your very lives, will gladly be given in tribute to me, General Zod! In return for your obedience you will enjoy my generous protection. In other words you will be allowed to live."

What Powell said: "Attitude's everything. All you had to do was stop, tell me what was going on. More than likely, I would have let you go."
What that means: "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that bit about how your close relative was moments away from dying. Even though you were saying it loudly and I was standing two feet away."

What Powell said: (After a Plano cop tells him a nurse says the mother-in-law is really, really about to go and was wondering if Powell could let Moats get up to the room) "I'm almost done here."
What that meant: "Look, what's more important -- some lady dying or my paperwork?"

For what it's worth, the Dallas police chief gave a public apology and said he was pretty much appalled by the episode. He also went out of his way to praise the actions of Moats and his family.
What that means: He's scared to death of a lawsuit.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >