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Sunday, March 29, 2009
The hits keep on coming for Dallas cop

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Just when you thought things couldn't get worse for Dallas police officer Robert Powell, former Cowboys linebacker Zach Thomas has come forward with another allegation. Last week, Powell made national news for preventing former Eagles running back Ryan Moats from seeing his dying mother-in-law following a routine traffic stop.

Thomas' wife, Maritza, was arrested by Powell last July and spent three hours in the Dallas County Jail after being pulled over for an illegal U-turn near a popular mall. Thomas described the punishment as "excessive," but said he didn't come forward at that point because he didn't want to "cause a stir."

"This in no way compares to what happened to Ryan Moats and his family," said Zach Thomas, who played for the Cowboys in '08 and is now a free agent. "But we wanted to tell our story, not knowing how many others have been affected by Officer Powell. We know the vast majority of the Dallas police force are good and professional people, but this guy just seems excessive."

Maritza Thomas was issued five tickets at the scene, four of which were later dismissed. Thomas, who was in the process of moving fom South Florida to Dallas, said her mother was with her when the stop took place. And that's where the most damning part of the family's allegation crops up:

"My mom was begging for him to let her go to the apartment that was five minutes away to get the paperwork (proof of insurance)," Maritza Thomas said. "He unbuckled his holster, and she got scared."

Powell's attorney questioned the timing of Thomas' allegation and said there was nothing inappropriate about his client's decision to make an arrest.

"I do understand that an arrest on multiple traffic charges happens often and is absolutely proper under these circumstances," Bob Gorsky said. "Often, when there are multiple charges, an arrest made and bond posted, some of the charges from a single event are later dropped."

I'm not sure whether Powell will keep his job, but it's safe to assume he'll be off the street for a while.