A Texas officer who shot and killed a Black man in Wolfe County who reportedly was helping to defend a woman being abused was arrested and charged for his death.
Wolfe County Police officer Shaun Lucas was arrested and charged with suspicion of murder for the death of Jonathan Price on Monday, Oct. 5, according to The Texas Tribune. He was booked into Hunt County Jail on a $1 million bond.
Lee Merritt, a lawyer representing Price’s family shared their reaction to the arrest in a Twitter post, “The family was cautiously relieved. They thought this officer should be in jail tonight, but they are more concerned that this officer spends the rest of his life in jail.”
The Texas Rangers led a preliminary investigation of the incident and determined “the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable,” according to a statement to CBS DFW 11.
Price died on Saturday evening at a gas station in Wolfe County. The Texas Rangers reported Lucas arrived at the scene to respond to a call about a fight.
“Officer Lucas made contact with a man, later identified as 31-year-old Jonathan Price, who was reportedly involved in the disturbance,” the statement said. “Officer Lucas attempted to detain Price, who resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away. Officer Lucas deployed his TASER, followed by discharging his service weapon striking Price.”
Price, 31, succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. Lee Merritt, a lawyer representing Price’s family, told reporters he was defending an abused woman before he was killed.
“Mr. Price did not become violent, but there was a male who was aggressive towards a woman,” Merritt said.
“He intervened, and the situation was resolved before law enforcement arrived, according to witnesses,” he added. “Why this officer still felt the need to Tase and shoot Jonathan is beyond comprehension.”
The attorney claimed body camera footage and surveillance tape “likely caught what happened.”
“We want to see a copy of the video,” Merritt said. “We want to see the official police reports.”
Old social media posts written by Price were shared online after his death. In one Facebook status, he defended the police against criticism related to police brutality.
“There were times I should have been detained for speeding, outstanding citations, out dated registration, dosing off at a red light before making it to my garage [in] Downtown Dallas after a lonnng night out,” Price wrote. The post continued, “i’ve passed a sobriety test after leaving a bar in Wylie, Texas by 2 white cops and still let me drive where I was headed, and by the way, they consider Wylie, Texas to be VERY racist. I’ve never got that kind of ENERGY from the po-po.”