A traffic stop involving a Black couple in Texas quickly turned into an act of compassion and faith after a state trooper took a moment to pray with the traveling husband and wife. 

On Sunday, Lanell McGee James and her husband Mar were driving to Dallas after experiencing a death in their family. Lanell told FOX 35 News that as they traveled through Madisonville, state trooper Ross Bates flagged them down for a non-speeding violation. 

During the stop, the officer asked the duo where they were going. 

“I told him we were going to Dallas because we had a death in the family,” Lanell said. “He asked was it immediate and I said ‘yes my husband’s brother.’ He said, ‘Oh I’m sorry to hear that. Do you know where he is?’ My husband answered ‘Yes, at the morgue,’ and the officer responded, ‘No, he is now in his heavenly home.’”


After letting them off with a warning, Bates then offered to pray with the couple. According to KHOU, the state trooper had just became an ordained Christian deacon and kept a bible in his patrol car. 

"At this point, my husband and I are both moved to tears because his brother's death was very unexpected," she continued. 

Lanell, who is a middle school teacher, shared the heartwarming experience on her Facebook page. The post has since received more than 120,000 reactions and been shared over 74,000 times. 

“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. "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!"

Bates released a statement to CBS 46, where he expressed gratitude for having a positive impact on the grieving couple. 

"While I was on patrol on Sunday, I met a family in need. 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," he said.

Bates’ kind act is considered unorthodox, given the tragic outcomes of fatal traffic stops that ended in the deaths of people like Philando Castile and Sandra Bland

Black Americans are more likely to be pulled over and arrested by law enforcement for normal behavior compared to white drivers, citing studies that delve into implicit bias related to poverty and criminality as Blavity previously reported