The nation’s top federal prosecutors have become less diverse under President Donald Trump than under his three predecessors, leaving white men overwhelmingly in charge at a time of national demonstrations over racial inequality. (October 6)
An attorney for the white Texas police officer charged for murder after fatally shooting a Black man outside a convenience store last weekend said his client discharged his weapon “in accordance with Texas law” after Jonathan Price tried to take away his taser.
The Texas Rangers charged Wolfe City officer Shaun Lucas with murder on Monday night. The 22-year-old was booked into the Hunt County Jail, where his bail was set at $1 million, according to jail records.
“Officer 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,” Robert L. Rogers, the attorney, told USA TODAY in an emailed statement Tuesday.
Lucas shot Price after responding to a disturbance call Saturday night “for a possible fight in progress,” officials said.
The officer tried to detain Price “who resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away,” according to the Rangers’ statement. Lucas then used a Taser on Price before shooting him with his service weapon, officials said.
“The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable,” officials said.
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Lucas had been with the Wolfe City Police Department for less than six months, according to records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. He previously worked as a jailer with the Hunt County’s Sheriff’s Office for about five months.
Price was a former Hardin-Simmons University student and football player. He worked in his hometown as a city employee and personal trainer.
Kyla Sanders, who was at a store across the street at the time of the shooting, told WFAA-TV that Price was a “pillar of the community.”
The 31-year-old’s mother, Marcella Louis, said she was able to sleep Monday night after learning of the officer’s arrest.
“My son didn’t deserve this,” she said. “He really didn’t. He helped everybody in this community and had a big heart and spirit. I’m going to miss just seeing his smiling face.”
Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Price’s family, said the murder charge is a “step” toward justice.
“This is step one. Let’s see it through to justice,” Merritt said on Twitter.
Contributing: N’dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY; Jordan Hofeditz, Abilene (Texas) Reporter News; The Associated Press
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