Another Cop, Another Video

The lesson in NFL star Ryan Moats’ run-in with Dallas police.

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Ryan Moats at Baylor Regional Hospital, after he and his wife were stopped by the police. (AP)

Don't get caught slippin'. That's the lesson for anyone who wants to put forth any malarkey about a post-racial nation. If you haven't heard by now, NFLer Ryan Moats and his wife were pulled over while rushing to the hospital to see her dying mother.

Before you fly off the handle, try to put yourself in the Dallas cop’s shoes: Person flying through a red light gives some excuse about a "dying" relative? How many times a day does he hear that?

There could be a plausible explanation for the officer's actions. But then, that plausible explanation comes up against  the video.

A woman comes out of her car in a hospital parking lot. Tired of trying to reason with the officer, she turns her back on an officer with a loaded gun while a relative ushers her inside. A black man gets out of the car and as he realizes the tension of the situation, tries his best to defuse it. But the police officer did not care to listen anyway.

While watching, I couldn't help but think "Lord, please don't let none of these people get shot." Now I didn't just walk out of the tobacco fields, but this is the sort of thing that's befuddling, that makes me scared of the men and women who are supposed to serve and protect us. Isn't one of their skills supposed to be the ability to assess a situation? What felon would pull into a hospital parking lot and then risk emerging from the car to explain that a relative inside was at death's door?

Couldn't an officer of the law deduce the veracity of the situation and proceed from there?

Note to law enforcement: Upon giving someone the benefit of the doubt, if you found out they lied, you can still arrest them. And we dare wonder why a "stop snitchin'" culture exists.

Jonathan Pitts-Wiley is a New York writer and the author of The Root’s Buzz column.