DPD Chief David Kunkle Expresses His Embarrassment Over Ryan Moats Incident
|From Dallas Police Department video, available after the jump|
That was the word used over and over by Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle during an afternoon press conference at DPD HQ during which he described how he felt about the conduct of police officer Robert Powell. As you're no doubt aware by now, Powell detained Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats for 13 minutes before allowing him to finally see his dying mother-in-law in a Plano hospital.
Powell is on administrative leave and under investigation, Kunkle told a throng of media, which could lead to his eventual dismissal. Powell has been an officer since January 2006. Although he has one infraction, his overall record "is relatively clean," said Kunkle.
At times throughout the 20-minute conference, Kunkle seemed to struggle to eloquently express his feelings; he often bowed his head to read from prepared notes. "It's hard to find the right words and still be professional as a police chief," he said.
Kunkle lauded Moats, who did not make it to the hospital room to see his mother-in-law before she died, and his wife for their "extraordinary patience and restraint," as is apparent on the raw video provided by the DPD and available after the jump. Kunkle pointed out that Moats never identified himself as an NFL player or expected special treatment.
Kunkle said it was his understanding that the officer drew his gun. But, he said, since that's not on the video, he can't confirm such reports.
Kunkle stated that while state law gives police officers tremendous discretion in making arrests, officers are also taught to use "common sense." Kunkle said he was most bothered that the officer was "berating" Moats with threats of arrest.
Said the chief, "We don't want arrests to occur because someone made a police officer mad."