Texas City Police Officer Fired After Traffic Stop in Buc-ee’s Parking Lot Goes Viral
TEXAS CITY, Texas (KPEL News) - A police officer in Texas has been terminated after a traffic stop in a Buc-ee's parking lot ended up getting him fired.
A man named Christopher Shull was filling up with gas at the Buc-ee's in Texas City when he was met by Scott Harrell, a Texas City police officer. Harrell cited Shull for how he was allegedly driving through the parking lot. The exchange between the two men, which lasted for 23 minutes, was caught on Harrell's bodycam and made public on YouTube.
“Hey man, you can’t drive through the parking lot like that,” Harrell told Shull at the beginning of the exchange.
The subsequent exchange went viral. Posted three months ago, it is currently sitting at nearly 60,000 views. According to KPRC in Houston, the video has been reposted and analyzed by others, gathering thousands more views.
Harrell originally planned to cite Shull, but was out of tickets. However, Shull disagreed with Harrell's portrayal of his actions and felt he had not violated the law. The arguing led the officer to take harsher action.
“Instead of being like, ‘Oh yeah, I messed up, it won’t happen again,’ you want to sit here and go back and forth,” Harrell said before he put Shull in handcuffs and put him in the back of his vehicle and telling him what he saw. “You were very close! They had to slam on their brakes, I watched it happen. OK, you came flying through the parking lot."
“You have forced my hand at this point because if I don’t go and see this through to its conclusion," Harrell then told Shull. "I know you’re going to go to the police department and file a complaint on me.”
But a second officer showed up to the scene later and gave Harrell a booklet of tickets.
Shull eventually received word that his citation was dismissed. Then-Texas City Police Chief Joe Stanton would later announce that Harrell was placed on inside administrative while being the subject of an internal investigation.
The current Texas City Chief of Police, Landis Cravens, recently released a statement about Harrell's firing.
On September 1, 2023, in my first official act as Chief of Police, I have taken the action to indefinitely suspend (terminate) the employment of Scott Harrell, the officer involved in this incident. This decision was made after a thorough review of the circumstances and is in line with our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and community service.
We want to be clear that the actions of this individual do not represent the hard work and dedication of the men and women who proudly wear the uniform of the Texas City Police Department. We are committed to upholding the trust and confidence you have placed in us, and we take our responsibility to serve and protect this community seriously.
The Texas City Police Department is a civil service police agency. That means in every personnel decision involving a non-probationary police officer, we must comply with regulations established within the Texas Local Government Code 143, City of Texas City Civil Service Commission Rules and Regulations, Collective Bargaining Agreement, the TCPD Policy Manual, and the City of Texas City Personnel Policies. On September 2, 2023, we received notice from the Texas Municipal Police Association on behalf of Officer Scott Harrell that my decision was being appealed. With that being stated, we are committed to rigorously defending this decision to ensure that our department maintains the integrity and transparency you expect and deserve.
Thank you for your continued support as we work diligently to uphold the values and principles that guide our department’s mission.