No Justice: Former Texas Cop Found Not Guilty of Killing Unarmed Man
A former white Wolfe City, Texas police officer has been acquitted of murder nearly two years after shooting an unarmed black man at a convenience station.
24-year-old Shaun Lucas was charged with the murder of Jonathan Price on October 3, 2020 after a violent encounter at a gas station in Wolfe City.
Gas Station Fight
CNN reports Lucas was responding to a disturbance call at the Kwik Chek convenience store on the evening of Saturday, October 3, 2020. According to a statement from Lt. Lonny Haschel of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Lucas was trying to arrest Price who "resisted in a non-threatening posture" and walked away.
Lucas then used his Taser on Price before shooting him four times in the upper torso. Haschel would say the officer's actions that evening were "not objectively reasonable", and the officer was fired a few days later on October 8, 2020. Local officials describes Lucas' actions as an “egregious violation” of departmental policies.
Summer of 2020
The killing of Jonathan Price followed a tense summer in the U.S. as the murder of both Breonna Taylor and George Floyd led to civil unrest, with riots and protests across the country. Black Lives Matter and calls to "Defund the Police" were in every headline.
Acquittal of Lucas
A jury found Shaun Lucas not guilty of murder after deliberating for more than five hours. The Price family attorney, Lee Merritt, plans to appeal the decision, saying, “Shaun Lucas was acquitted in rural Hunt County, Texas, by an all-white jury. Every law enforcement professional that reviewed the facts concluded Lucas’ use of force was unjustified.”
Merritt hopes to appeal to the Department of Justice to intervene and bring federal criminal charges against Lucas.
Following the acquittal, one of Lucas' lawyers, Robert Rogers, said he believes the system worked and that the evidence showed that the actions Lucas took that night were reasonable.