Acquitted of murder: Texas police officer shot Black man after tasing him

Shaun Lucas, Jonathan Price

(CNN) — A former Texas police officer was found not guilty of the murder of a Black man who was shot four times as he lurched toward the officer after being tased outside a convenience store.

Shaun Lucas, Jonathan Price. (CNN) 

Shaun Lucas, who was then 22, lost his job on the Wolfe City force after a preliminary investigation by the state investigative agency the Texas Rangers determined he acted unreasonably during the confrontation two years ago with Jonathan Price.

Lucas responded on Oct. 3, 2020, to a call about a disturbance at the convenience store — a domestic dispute in which Price, a 31-year-old municipal employee, had reportedly intervened.

Witnesses testified that Price greeted the officer in a non-aggressive way and the two shook hands. By all accounts, Price then resisted the officer’s attempt to detain him and began to walk away.

Lucas said he was attempting to detain Price because he thought the man was intoxicated and may have been involved in the disturbance. He said he tased him to keep him from leaving the scene, and that he fired his gun because Price had turned and reached toward the taser.

One of the witnesses said he thought Price had put out his hand to steady himself after being tased.

The jury deliberated more than five hours before returning its verdict Thursday evening. The trial began Monday.

Lee Merritt, the attorney representing the Price family, said he will appeal to the Department of Justice to bring federal criminal charges against Lucas.

“Shaun Lucas was acquitted in rural Hunt County, Texas, by an all-white jury,” Merritt said, and added, “Every law enforcement professional that reviewed the facts concluded Lucas’ use of force was unjustified.”

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Price’s mother, Marcella Louis, three weeks ago sued Lucas and Wolfe City in Dallas federal court, alleging wrongful death and violations of her son’s Fourth Amendment rights.

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