On Thursday (September 22), ex-Wolfe City officer Shaun Lucas was acquitted of murder in the death of Jonathan Price, a former college football player and employee in the small town northeast of Dallas.
Sabrina Price, one of the victim's sisters, wept after the verdict was announced, per NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
“There was not one person that looked like me,” said Sabrina Price, who is Black, of the Hunt County jury who made the decision.
The fatal incident unfolded on the night of October 3, 2020, when Jonathan Price was leaving a convenience store and “initiated a pushing match" that only lasted "five seconds," family attorney Lee Merritt said.
Lucas, who is white, answered the report of the fight, said Lt. Lonny Haschel of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The former officer attempted to detain Price, but he resisted and walked away, according to Haschel.
Though Price was unarmed, Lucas used a Taser and opened fire with his service weapon.
He was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder two days after the shooting.
On Oct. 8, 2020, Lucas, who had been with the Wolfe City Police Department for less than six months, was fired for engaging in an "egregious violation" of departmental policies, local officials said.
Texas Rangers also concluded that lethal force was unnecessary following an investigation of the shooting.
Defense attorney Robert Rogers previously said that 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.”
The ex-officer had no choice but to shoot Price in self-defense "because he was terrified," Rogers said.
The Price family attorney said Thursday that the evidence was "overwhelming in favor of guilty."
Merritt attributed the jury's verdict to an "inherent bias" toward police, per NBC Dallas Fort-Worth.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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