Jonathan Price’s death in police shooting is ‘act of racism,’ ex-MLB player says
A Texas man who was fatally shot by a police officer over the weekend was killed in “an act of racism,” a former Major League Baseball player charged, while vowing that justice would be served in his death.
Will Middlebrooks, a former third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, spoke out about his childhood friend Jonathan Price, who was shot to death while breaking up a fight in Wolfe City late Saturday.
“This was purely an act of racism,” Middlebrooks wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. “Period.”
Middlebrooks said Price, who had intervened when he saw a man and a woman brawling outside a gas station, was “singled out” by the responding police officer during the fatal shooting.
The officer involved in the shooting is white, witnesses and family members told WFAA, while Price was black.
“I’ll let you do the math,” Middlebrooks’ post continued. “There’s no excuse this time.”
In a second Facebook post, Middlebrooks called on Wolfe City residents to remain calm.
“Don’t let the act of one man make you burn down a city full of good people,” Middlebrooks wrote. “I know you’re hurt … I am too. I know you’re pissed … I am too, I know what JP would want … and ripping his hometown to pieces wouldn’t be his answer. Justice will be served.”
Middlebrooks remembered Price as a man whose “life was taken away from him” as he had his hands in the air.
“He was trying to break up a fight at a gas station,” Middlebrooks wrote. “I’m sick, I’m heartbroken … and I’m furious. Love you, JP. See you when I see you bro.”
The officer involved in the shooting, who has not been publicly identified, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Texas Rangers, Wolfe City police said in a statement Sunday.
“No further information is available for release at this time,” department officials said.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety declined Sunday to answer questions about the shooting, referring questions to Wolfe City police, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Authorities in Wolfe City did not respond to a message seeking additional comment late Sunday, the newspaper reported.
An online fundraiser set up by Middlebrooks to help offset funeral costs for Price had eclipsed $50,000 as of early Monday.
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