The police officer who shot and killed Wolfe City, Tex., resident Jonathan Price, a Black man popular in the community, was known as a menace by other Black residents with a reputation for harassing people.
People who live in the town, which is about an hour northeast of Dallas, told The Washington Post that Shaun Lucas was too aggressive when it came to traffic enforcement and Black residents were a particular target. Some would even try to avoid coming into town just to avoid running into him.
“Where the hell did he come from?” Veronica Brown told the Post. “He is the worst cop Wolfe City ever had.”
Lucas, 22, fatally wounded Price, 31, Oct. 3 when he was responding to a call at a gas station convenience story of a domestic disturbance. Price had intervened between a man and a woman who were arguing. He then reportedly got into a physical altercation with the man that spilled outside.
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An affidavit, from the Texas Rangers, says when Lucas arrived at the scene, Price offered to shake his hand and asked Lucas, “You doing good” several times and apologized for the broken glass on the ground. Lucas alleges Price tried to grab his stun gun, and responded by firing his service weapon at him four times. He died in a hospital soon after.
The body camera footage of the fatal police shooting has yet to be released. However, a preliminary investigation from the Texas Rangers says Lucas' behavior was found to be “not objectionably reasonable.”
Blerim Elmazi, one of Price’s family attorneys, denied Price could have attempted to grab the stun gun because he was not close enough.
“The situation already was calm. There was no problem” when Lucas arrived,” said Elmazi. “Officer Lucas completely and unreasonably escalated a situation when there really was no situation to begin with.”
Lucas was arrested just days after the incident and charged with Price’s murder. He is being held at Collin County, Tex., jail on $1 million bail, the Post reports. The city fired him last Thursday (Oct. 8).
At least a dozen residents of Wolfe City told the Post about Lucas’ menacing presence and said that officers there, most of whom they are familiar with, would have known Price was no threat. But Lucas was a stranger, unfamiliar with the community.
One incident described by a Wolfe City resident as harassment took place in August when James Alton Brown was trailed by Lucas, who followed him in a Chevy suburban for a quarter mile as he walked home. Brown is 65 and walks with a limp. But Lucas arrested him for public intoxication.
“He thought I was drunk,” Brown said. “So he took me to jail.” He said that he tried to show the officer that he was only drinking a soft drink, but another charge of resisting arrest was added, which still stands, although the public intoxication charge was dropped.
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Photo Credits: Facebook; Hunt County Sheriff's Office
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