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Ex-Texas cop acquitted of Jonathan Price murder by jury

Lucas, a 24-year-old white man, was charged with the murder of Price, who was black, after a preliminary investigation determined Lucas’ actions were unreasonable, authorities said.

Lucas was responding to an ongoing disturbance and fight report at the store in October 2020. Price, who was 31, greeted him and attempted to shake the officer’s hand. Lucas thought Price was drunk and attempted to detain him, but Price told him, “I can’t be detained,” according to the affidavit.

“Officer Lucas continued to attempt to detain Price by grabbing Price’s arm and using verbal commands, both of which were unsuccessful,” the affidavit states.

Lucas told Price he would be tasered if he didn’t comply, and Price began to walk away, according to the affidavit.

Lucas used his Taser, but the device was not fully effective, and Price “continued to walk towards Officer Lucas” while Tasered, according to the document.

“Price appeared to reach out and grab the tip of Officer Lucas’ Taser,” and Lucas shot him four times in the upper torso, the affidavit states.

CNN has reached out to Lucas’ attorneys, Daniel W. Ray and Robert Rogers, to comment on the acquittal.

Lee Merritt, the attorney representing the Price family, said he is appealing to the Justice Department to step in and file federal criminal charges against Lucas.

“Shaun Lucas was acquitted in rural Hunt County, Texas by an all-white jury,” Merritt said. “At the time of his murder, he [Price] was unarmed and posed no threat to anyone.”

“All law enforcement professionals who have reviewed the facts have concluded that Lucas’ use of force was unwarranted,” the attorney said. “The jury’s verdict flies in the face of the weight of the evidence and leaves black Texans exposed to state-sanctioned violence.”

After the murder, Merritt said Price tried to intervene in a domestic dispute at the store.

“The situation was resolved before the arrival of the police, according to witnesses,” the lawyer said. “Why this officer still felt the need to taser and shoot Jonathan is beyond belief.”

CNN’s Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

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