What does compassion and forgiveness feel like?
Robert Powell is finding out.
An officer with the Dallas Police Department, Powell became the focus of national scrutiny after pulling over Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats and his family outside a hospital.
What started as a routine traffic stop for running a stop sign turned into a full-blown altercation between Powell and the Moats family, which was rushing to the hospital to see the player’s gravely ill mother-in-law. While a verbal exchange was traded outside the hospital, Moats’ mother-in-law died, setting off a wave of condemnation for Powell and the police department. Powell has since been placed on administrative leave.
In an interview with a Dallas TV station, a humble Powell apologized for his actions. He wisely admitted that he fears for his job, obviously trying to calm any fresh allegations he’s appearing as a publicity stunt to rescue his career.
At 25 years old, Powell is young for any profession. All of us can think back to dumb mistakes we made early in our careers through inexperience and perhaps, as in Powell’s case, overzealousness. If you’re under 25 and reading this thinking it won’t happen to you, just wait, it’s part of the learning process.
On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the Moats family said they would be willing to accept an apology from Powell. The Associated Press reports that Moats has accepted Powell’s apology.
This is a question of introspection. Could you forgive someone for unwittingly preventing you from seeing a relative on their deathbed?
I’m not going to take a sanctimonious stand here and say all should be forgiven, because I truly don’t know how I would act. But I do know forgiveness is an important part of the healing process for both sides in this type of situation, and Moats and Powell are both better men for granting and accepting the apology.