Video of traffic stop in Buc-ee’s parking lot leads to cop losing job, Texas police say


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A Texas police officer was fired after police body camera footage of a traffic stop was publicly released, police say.

Officer Scott Harrell was sitting in his cruiser in the parking lot of Buc-ee’s in Texas City, about 40 miles southeast of Houston, on April 19 when Christopher Shull pulled in, body camera video posted on Youtube by Shull shows.

Video shows Harrell pull behind Shull at the gas pump and get out of his cruiser. He tells Shull in the video the reason he pulled him over is because he was speeding through the parking lot and cut through parking spaces.

“I didn’t think I did anything wrong, I just came over to get gas,” Shull says to Harrell in the video.

In a police report obtained by KPRC, Harrell said Shull was “argumentative and confrontational” and said he “continued to argue the facts of the case.”

Shull told the news outlet he didn’t agree with that, and the officer just wanted him to agree.

“Everything he said was a lie and it really just boils down to, he wanted to use his police powers to bash me over the head,” Shull told KPRC.

Harrell could not be reached by McClatchy News for comment.

About four minutes into the traffic stop, video shows Shull asking what type of citation the officer could give him on private property. Harrell tells him he could get a citation for disregarding a traffic control device, video shows.

Shull said he understood, but Harrell said he had an “attitude,” according to the video.

”I get you’re upset,” Harrell says in the video. “No one likes the cops pulling up on them, but you know you did wrong.”

Harrell then threatens to arrest Shull, video shows.

“You wanna go to jail? You can go to jail for this… I don’t wanna take you to jail, that is definitely a waste of my time. But the attitude is not necessary,” he is heard telling Shull in the video.

Harrell also accused Shull of nearly hitting a truck in the parking lot, according to KPRC.

Shull posted surveillance footage to his YouTube page showing when he passed the truck in the parking lot.

Harrell tells Shull he believes he will “continue to commit these behaviors,” KPRC reported.

Shortly after, Harrell places Shull in handcuffs and puts him in the back seat of his cruiser, the video shows. For several minutes, Shull asks if they “really have to do this” and if they can “cool off,” according to the video.

“You have forced my hand at this point,” Harrell said in the video. “Because if I don’t go and see this through to its conclusion, I know you’re going to go to the police department and file a complaint on me.”

About eight minutes later, another officer arrives. Harrell is heard telling the officer he was going to let Shull go with a warning, but Shull wanted to “argue” and “go back and forth.”

Eventually, Shull is given a citation and let go.

However, Harrell was initially placed “on inside administrative duties” while the department investigated, according to a May 24 news release from the Texas City Police Department.

“The Texas City Police Department has strict policies prohibiting officers from violating individuals’ rights with whom the officers’ encounter,” Joe Stanton, the police chief at the time, wrote in the release.

Since then, a new police chief at the department fired Harrell, the police department said in a Sept. 8 news release.

“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,” Police Chief Landis Cravens said in the news release. “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.”

Shull’s citation was dismissed, according to KPRC.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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