This is one of those stories that makes you think to yourself “what would I do?” It’s the story of a Shell station in San Ysidro, California, that has taken a stand against a particular type of customer.
A truck full of Customs & Border Protection (CBP) officers rolled into the station recently to fill up and fuel up. While one officer worked the pump, four others headed inside to grab some items.
When they approached the clerk, they were surprised to hear her say that they didn’t usually serve CBP. The officers weren’t sure what to make of the remark. At first.
When they got back outside and into their truck though, they knew. They soon discovered that the officer who stayed outside was, in fact, not able to fill up because the pump had been shut off!
Initially the officer was able to start fueling up the large truck, but after the others went inside, had that conversation with the clerk, and began to walk back to their vehicle, the gas suddenly shut off.
The officer was confused. The tank wasn’t more than half full, and yet the pump refused to cooperate.
They were on their way to a job and did not have time to argue the issue with the clerk. When they got back to their office, they reported the incident and were surprised to discover that no one else was shocked this happened.
As they told Blue Lives Matter: “That’s when our supervisors informed us that it wasn’t the first time that had happened.
They recently turned off the gas on one of our chase cars that was filling up. That Shell station has literally canceled the gas every time we tried to fill up.”
For their part, Shell is investigating the issue but has said that the action of those at the location does not represent the Shell brand.
While the location sells Shell gas, the operator of the station and the store is in effect an independent wholesaler.
Did the station break any laws in their refusal to serve? There are certain to be investigations into that matter.
The actions of those at the station call into play a larger part of the discussion over the relationship between the police and those who they serve and protect. Where do the rights of one end and the needs of the other start?
As to be expected, people online had numerous comments on this, and offered suggestions as to how the officers could deal with the situation if it occurred again.
A commenter called “bhn” suggested, “Next time this station is held up, just tell dispatch to respond to the call with “sorry, our officers would respond, but we haven’t been able to fuel our vehicles.”
A poster named “Json” had a different take to the problem. “I think law enforcement should have their own gas station to avoid matter.”