(CNN) – A former Texas policeman was found innocent of the m*rder of a black man who was shot four times while lunging at an officer after being executed outside a grocery store.
Shaun Lucas, 22 at the time, lost his job at Wolfe City after an initial investigation by the Texas Rangers state investigative agency which determined he had acted unwise when confronted by Jonathan Pric two years ago.
Lucas responded on October 3, 2020, to a phone call about a riot at a grocery store – a national dispute in which Price, a 31-year-old municipality employee, reportedly intervened.
Witnesses testified that Price greeted the officer in a non-aggressive manner. By all accounts, Price then resisted the officer attempting to stop him and began to walk away.
Lucas said he tried to stop Price because he thought the man was intoxicated and might have been involved in the commotion. He said he shot him so he wouldn’t leave the scene and that he fired a pistol because Price turned and reached towards the stun gun.
One of the witnesses said he thought Price reached out to calm down after he was folded.
The jury deliberated over five hours before returning its verdict on Thursday night. The trial began on Monday.
Lee Merritt, a lawyer representing the Price family, said he would ask the Justice Department to file federal criminal charges against Lucas.
“Shaun Lucas was acquitted in rural Hunt County, Texas by an all-white jury,” said Merritt, adding, “Any law enforcement officer who analyzed the facts found that Lucas’s use of force was unjustified.”
Price’s mother, Marcella Louis, sued Lucas and Wolfe City in federal court in Dallas three weeks ago, accusing him of wrongful d*ath and violating her son’s Fourth Amendment rights.
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