A Texas cop who is accused of fatally shooting an unarmed Black man earlier this month was reportedly known for harassing Black residents over minor violations.
Locals told The Washington Post that Wolfe City police officer Shaun Lucas, 22, antagonized Black residents and had a reputation for being overly aggressive in his traffic enforcement methods. Black men reportedly told the news outlet of hostile encounters they had with Lucas, with a resident recalling an instance in which they were mistakenly arrested for public intoxication.
Lucas was charged with murder two days after Jonathan Price’s shooting death. The officer reportedly shot Price, 31, at a Kwik Check gas station on October 3 as he broke up a fight between an unidentified couple.
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Per an arrest affidavit, Price approached Lucas to shake his hand and asked, “You doing good?” Price reportedly also apologized for the broken glass on the ground, explaining that someone had tried to “wrap me up.”
Lucas reportedly told Texas Rangers that he believed Price was intoxicated and claimed Price said, “I can’t be detained” as he tried to detain him.
The affidavit stated that Lucas grabbed Price’s arm and issued verbal commands before brandishing a Taser and ordering Price to comply. Price allegedly did not comply and started to walk away, leading Lucas to deploy his Taser.
“While being tased, Price continued to walk toward Officer Lucas. Price appeared to grab the end of Officer Lucas’ Taser. Officer Lucas discharged his firearm [a] four[th] time striking Price in the upper torso. Price was later pronounced deceased at Hunt County Regional Hospital,” the document detailed.
The attorney representing Price’s family said Lucas shot Price as Price convulsed from the electrical current emitted from the Taser. Conversely, Lucas’ lawyer claimed his client was following the law when he opened fire, describing Price as an “aggressive assailant” who had attempted to take Lucas’ Taser.
Lucas was reportedly wearing a bodycam at the time of the shooting. Officials have not yet released footage showing the fatal encounter.
Wolfe police asked Texas Rangers to investigate the controversial officer-related shooting. The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement to CrimeOnline that Texas Rangers ultimately determined Lucas’ actions were not “objectionably reasonable.”
City attorney Daniel Ray told The Post that he was unaware of any complaints filed against Lucas before the October 3 incident involving Price. Lucas, who was initially placed on administrative leave, was fired days after he was arrested for Price’s murder.
The former police officer remains jailed on $1 million bail.
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[Featured image: Shaun Lucas/Hunt County Jail; Jonathan Price/Facebook]