A white police officer charged with murder after being accused of shooting dead a black man who tried to shake his hand has been fired.
Shaun Lucas, 22, allegedly killed motivational speaker Jonathan Price, 31, in Wolfe City, Texas, on October 3 – just seven months after joining the force.
City officials stated he was sacked due to “his egregious violation of the city’s and police department’s policies”.
Lucas fired four shots into Price’s chest after being called to reports of a fight at a convenience store in the city, which lies 60 miles north east of Dallas, according to an affidavit.
As Price extended his hand at the shop, he asked the officer: “You doing good?”
The statement says he “appeared to reach out and grab the end of Officer Lucas’ Taser”, though adds the policeman did “intentionally and knowingly” kill unarmed Price.
The city’s mayor Sharion Scott and council confirmed the termination of Lucas’ contract and thanks police for their assistance in the case.
“Contemporaneous with the criminal investigation and because Mr Lucas is a certified peace officer, the city was required to conduct an administrative investigation of Mr Lucas’ misconduct,” it added.
The open letter also praised residents for holding wholly “peaceful” vigils and protests in memory of Price.
Lucas is at Rockwall County jail with a bond set at $1 million.
The Texas Rangers – in charge of investigating the incident – said in a statement earlier this week the shooting was “not objectionably reasonable”.
Lucas’ attorney Robert Rogers said her client was responding to a fight and that the deceased man “resisted” arrest.
“Mr Price did not claim to be an uninvolved, innocent party,” the lawyer said.
“Officer Lucas told Mr Price he was detained and Mr Price resisted.
“After Mr Price refused repeated instructions and physically resisted, Officer Lucas deployed his Taser and continued to give Mr Price instructions.
“Mr Price resisted the effects of the Taser and attempted to take it away from Officer Lucas.”
Mr Rogers added the officer was acting in accordance with the law when he fired his gun as he was “confronted with an aggressive assailant” who was trying to take his Taser.
The attorney previously represented Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who was convicted of murder after shooting dead Botham Jean in September 2018.
The officer was off-duty but still in uniform when she entered the victim’s home by accident – believing it to be her own – and wrongfully believed Jean was an intruder.
The Rangers added Price “resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away” – though didn’t mention a Taser.