A Texas police officer was taken into custody on Monday night and charged with murder for the police-involved shooting of an African-American man over the weekend.
According to a statement released to local news outlets by the Texas Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers, Officer Shaun David Lucas encountered Jonathan Price while responding to reports of an ongoing fight at a convenience store. When Officer Lucas tried to detain him, Price “resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away.”
Lucas then fired both his taser and his gun. Price was struck, the EMS was called, and Price later died at the hospital.
“The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable,” read the statement.
Immediately following the shooting, Officer Lucas was placed on administrative leave. On Monday night he was arrested, booked into Hunt County Jail, and charged with murder. Bail was set at $1 million.
Price’s relatives described Jonathan, 31 years old, as a model citizen. According to the family, Price was trying to break up an argument between two other people at the convenience store when Officer Lucas arrived.
“I loved my son,” said Price’s father, Junior Price, “and I tried to bring him up to do the right thing.”
“When police arrived, I’m told, he raised his hands and attempted to explain what was going on,” said the family’s civil rights attorney Lee Merritt. “Police fired Tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they ‘perceived a threat’ and shot him to death.”
Merritt has stated that the arrest was not quick enough. “This didn’t happen quickly. It should (have) happened the day he murdered JP. John should still be here.”
Will Middlebrooks, a former MLB player for the Boston Red Sox and childhood friend of Price, wrote to Facebook: “This was purely an act of racism. Period.”
Middlebrooks started a fundraiser for the family that surpassed $50,000 in less than 24 hours. He also shared a post from Price’s Facebook page, recounting his thoughts on the tense climate in America in June:
Hundreds of people gathered in Wolfe City on Monday night to walk peacefully through the town’s Main Street and to hold a vigil at the convenience store.
No further information about the shooting has been released at this time.