On October 3, Jonathan Price was shot and killed by police officer Shaun Lucas after trying to defend a woman who was involved in a domestic dispute at a convenience store in Wolfe City, Texas. Price is the latest black man to be shot and killed by police this year.
But now, new details are surfacing that 31-year-old Price tried to shake the officer’s hand before being gunned down.
In an affidavit obtained by CBS Dallas Fort Worth, Texas rangers say that Lucas was “greeted by a male subject later identified as Jonathan Dwain Price. Price came very close to Officer Lucas asking ‘you doing good’ multiple times while extending his hand in a handshake gesture.”
According to witnesses, sometime after 8 p.m. police were called to the scene after Price tried to intervene in a domestic dispute. When Lucas arrived, Price tried to explain what happened and Lucas still tried to detain him.
The affidavit says that Price tried to walk away and said, “I can’t be detained.” Shortly after, Lucas tased him. Price turned around and began walking towards Lucas; that is when he was shot four times in the upper torso. He later died at a nearby hospital.
Investigators said, “The actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable.” They added that Lucas “intentionally and knowingly caused the death of Price.”
Since his death, past social media posts have been shared. In one post Price described how he had never been mistreated by police officers.
In a post shared to Facebook on June 15, Price wrote “I’ve passed a sobriety test after leaving a bar in Wylie, Texas by two white cops and still let me drive where I was headed, and by the way, they consider Wylie, Texas to be VERY racist. I’ve never got that kind of ENERGY from the po-po.…Not saying black lives don’t matter, but don’t forget about your own, or your experiences through growth/waking up.”
In a post from May 31, he said that protesters were increasing their chances of getting harassed by police due to an “idiotic stunt, and aggressive rioting.”
Many called out the irony of Price’s views, saying they didn’t serve him well in his encounter with the police. Some even said that he was too understanding of the police, which ultimately cost him his life.
One user wrote, “You won’t survive white supremacy by uplifting your oppressor or their ideas. He may not have learned it, but maybe others will learn by this incident.”
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, the Price family attorney, Lee Merritt said he disapproved of the backlash against Price’s pro-police post on Facebook, saying that it was irrelevant to his death.
Merritt wrote, “A post JP made explaining that he never had a negative experience with a police officer has been the subject of much unnecessary and often irreverent banter. This may have been JP’s first negative encounter with a racist white police officer. If he survived the encounter maybe his perspective on systemic racism would have changed. We’ll never know because he is dead at the hands of a brutal cop.” He added, “I pray his family can lay him to rest without feeling compelled to defend the value of his life. Black lives matter and black minds differ…but we’re all in this together— whether we like it or not.”
USA Today reported that 22-year-old Lucas had only been working with the Wolfe County Police Department for less than six months before he killed Price. On Monday, March 5, he was arrested and charged for the suspicion of murder where he was booked at Hunt County jail on a $1 million bond.
The family’s attorney said that Price’s “family was cautiously relieved,” and that the arrest of Lucas brought his mother Marcella Louis some comfort, but that she will still miss her son.
She said, “My son didn’t deserve this.” She added, “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.”