Bully Policeman Powell Resigns under Scrutiny from Moats Family

Michael DezsoContributor IApril 5, 2009

What do you do when you are caught in a thirteen-minute video exercising thug-like behavior to a family in distress? You do want bullies always do when they get confronted: quit.

"With a heavy heart and great sadness, I resigned from the Dallas Police Department this morning," he said in a statement issued by his attorneys. "I made this decision in the hope that my resignation will allow the Dallas Police Department, my fellow officers, and the citizens of Dallas to better reflect on this experience, learn from the mistakes made, and move forward."

Hmm, not waiting to see how that internal investigation is going to go, huh? Wouldn’t be because it’s obvious how it’s all going to go. When the head of the department lauds the Moats family for their patience and restraint, you have to figure that it’s not going to go well.

Interesting, Officer Powell has yet to make his pubic apology to the family, and somehow hadn’t found the time over the week to stop by. Hmm, well, the good news is, Officer Powell hasn’t been the only one busy this week.

The district attorney’s office has been pulling files and checking the catalog of existing complaints.  

"We saw the videotape on television, and it was an outrage," said Terri Moore, top assistant to Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins. "So we wanted, obviously, to see if there were any pending cases and to see his conduct."

Good to see that the district attorney’s office isn’t made up of the same quitters apparently filling the Dallas Police Department.

Be sure: they will make their case. And Powell’s flaccid attempt to deflect attention will fail as his eventual conviction of dereliction will return his smug head-shot to the news. Unfortunately, what Officer Powell stole, a dying woman’s comfort of love from her family, cannot be returned or replaced. No matter what happens in the courtroom, there will always be an imbalance between punishment and crime.  

Being a police officer is difficult. The job is dangerous, and requires composure, situational awareness, anticipation, and empathy. In that way, addressing the unknown of the vehicle curtly and aggressively is an explainable, if unpleasant reality, of the situation. But as the video illustrates over a painful thirteen minutes, Officer Powell failed to recognize and be moved by what became very clear facts, involving a dying mother. “I’m almost finished” was his reply to another officer who explained that their “story” checked out. 

Yes, Officer Powell, you are indeed almost finished. Almost.

For more on some of Officer Powell’s greatest hits, see this excellent story from the Dallas Morning News: