When Lanell McGee James and her husband were stopped by a Texas police officer, she probably expected to get a traffic ticket. Her husband received something else: A word of prayer from an empathic human being. You might have a problem with leaky eyes after reading this story, but you can just tell those next to you that your allergies are acting up again.
James posted about the interaction on her Facebook page. She and her husband were driving to Dallas to pay their respects to his brother who recently passed away when Officer Bates pulled them over for a “non-speeding violation.” After asking where the couple was headed, they informed the officer that they were traveling to Dallas because they had a death in the family.
Bates asked if the death was immediate and when she told him her husband’s brother died, he said: “Oh I’m sorry to hear that, do you know where he is?” James’ husband answered, “yes, at the morgue.”
But Bates corrected them, saying: “No, he is now in his heavenly home.” James wrote that they were
“both moved to tears because his brother’s death was very unexpected.”
The officer asked for James’ identification and went back to his vehicle. He returned and gave the couple a warning. Then, he asked if he could pray with the couple. “He removed his hat asked to hold our hands and he prayed with us,” James wrote. “I have NEVER had this happen before but it was everything that we needed in that moment. Thank you so much Trooper Bates for praying with us!”
In her Facebook post, James explained her reasons for telling the world about the act of this officer. “With so much going on nowadays with police killing people and people killing the police as well as racial tensions, I felt compelled to share this picture, she wrote.”
The interactions that we typically hear about between law enforcement and the black community are typically far from positive. They usually involve police officers overstepping their authority and taking the lives of civilians without cause. In fact, the former officer who killed Atatania Jefferson in her home was just indicted for murder. More frequently, we see instances in which officers are forced to defend themselves from danger by using lethal force.
Neither of these scenarios brings anything except sadness and outrage — and in many cases, rightly so. But it is also essential that we remember that the majority of the nation’s police officers are not corrupt. In fact, most are decent people trying to do a job. Most people — including black Americans — know this. But when we are inundated with the negative stories, it’s easy to forget this reality.
But stories such as these remind us that most of us want a peaceful solution to these issues. Unfortunately, establishment media outlets would rather minimize interactions like the one between this black couple and the white police officer who showed empathy and faith. If a story does not inspire resentment and tension, it seems the press wants nothing to do with it. Nevertheless, there are those who are willing to discuss the positive stories as much as the negative.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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