Jonathan Price appeared to try to grab Taser of white Texas cop: court docs
A black man who was killed by a white police officer in Texas was shot four times after trying to shake the officer’s hand — and then reaching for his Taser, court documents show.
Wolfe City Police Officer Shaun Lucas, who has been charged with murder in the Saturday shooting death of 31-year-old Jonathan Price, arrived at a Kwik Chek convenience store and was greeted by Price as he asked the officer if he was “doing good,” according to a probable cause affidavit released Wednesday.
Price proceeded to extend his hand in a “handshake gesture” before apologizing for broken glass on the ground, telling Lucas that someone had tried to “wrap me up,” the affidavit states.
Lucas, who believed Price was intoxicated, then tried to detain him, but Price told the 22-year-old officer, “I can’t be detained,” according to the affidavit.
“Officer Lucas continued to attempt to detain Price by grabbing Price’s arm and using verbal commands, which were both unsuccessful,” the document states.
Lucas then told Price he would deploy his Taser if he continued to not comply, prompting Price to start walking away, according to the affidavit.
The officer deployed his Taser, but the device wasn’t effective in stopping Price, who “continued to walk toward” Lucas as he was being hit with the stun gun. Price then “appeared to reach out” and grab the end of Lucas’ Taser before the officer shot him four times in the chest, the affidavit states.
A full autopsy report on Price, who later died at a hospital, is expected in six to eight weeks, CNN reported.
Lucas’ attorney, meanwhile, said Price “did not claim to be an uninvolved, innocent party” whose friends and relatives have said had just intervening in a fight between a man and a woman at the convenience store.
“Mr Price resisted the effects of the Taser and attempted to take it away from Officer Lucas,” attorney Robert Rogers told CNN Tuesday. “Officer Lucas only discharged his weapon in accordance with Texas law when he was confronted with an aggressive assailant who was attempting to take his Taser.”
Lucas had been a police officer in Wolfe City for less than six months before Saturday’s shooting. Prior to the joining the department, he worked as a jailer for roughly five months with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department, NBC News reported.
Lucas remained jailed Wednesday on $1 million bond, according to the Associated Press.
An attorney for Price’s family, meanwhile, is insisting he was never violent toward Lucas prior to the fatal confrontation, which was captured on the officer’s body-worn camera.
“The situation was resolved before law enforcement arrived, according to witnesses,” attorney S. Lee Merritt told CNN. “Why this officer still felt the need to tase and shoot Jonathan is beyond comprehension.”
Price’s funeral will be held Saturday, Merritt said.
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