As Lanell McGee James and her husband, Lamar, were driving to Dallas following the death of Lamar’s brother, they were pulled over by a Texas state trooper.
What happened next brought tears to their eyes and is now encouraging thousands of people across social media.
James and her husband were travelling from their home north of Houston on Sunday when Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Ross Bates pulled them over near Madisonville for a non-speeding violation, according to her Facebook post.
Bates asked the couple where they travelling to, and James responded that they were driving to Dallas due to a “death in the family.”
When James told Bates that her husband’s brother had died, the trooper didn’t skip a beat.
“[Bates] said oh I’m sorry to hear that, do you know where he is?” James wrote on the now-viral post.
“My husband answered ‘yes at the morgue’ and the office responded ‘no he is now in his heavenly home.'”
The divinely timed answer brought tears to the grieving couple’s eyes.
“At this point my husband and I are both moved to tears because his brothers death was very unexpected,” James wrote.
James said the trooper then went back to his vehicle, wrote a warning instead of a ticket and gave it to the couple.
The warning wasn’t the only blessing the officer gave, however.
Bates, who had recently been ordained as a Christian deacon, asked James and her husband if he could pray over them.
“He removed his hat asked to hold our hands and he prayed with us,” she wrote. “I have NEVER had this happen before but it was everything that we needed in that moment.”
James said Bates’ actions were particularly meaningful amid such high tensions between police officers and the black community, so she felt compelled to document the moment with a photo.
“There’s just so much in the news with the negativity and the police killings and the racial tension — it’s a lot,” she told KHOU.
Bates said in a statement to the outlet that he was humbled by James’ “kind words.”
“While I was on patrol on Sunday, I met a family in need,” he said.
“They were mourning the unexpected loss of a loved one, and I am humbled that my actions had a positive impact on their lives during this difficult time.
“As a State Trooper, I’ve met many people who have shared their stories with me. Often, I don’t hear about the impact I’ve had on them. I am truly humbled by the kind words of Mrs. James, and I will always be grateful that our brief interaction had a positive impact on their family.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.