Jonathan Price, Black Man Shot Dead by Police, Previously Defended Cops During BLM Protests

A Black man who was reportedly shot dead by a Texas officer at the weekend had defended police as Black Lives Matter protests spread across the U.S. over the summer.

Jonathan Price, 31, was identified by his family and friends as the man killed by police at a gas station in Wolfe City, Texas on Saturday night.

Officials haven't revealed any details about the shooting, but have confirmed that an officer-involved shooting took place and that an officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Price's family and witnesses said he had been trying to break up a dispute between couple at the time. When police arrived on the scene, they used a stun gun on Price before shooting him, witnesses told WFAA.

Price's childhood friend Will Middlebrooks, a former professional baseball player, wrote on social media that Price had his hands in the air when a police officer shot him in the chest and back. Middlebrooks described his friend's killing as "purely an act of racism."

Over the summer, as protests triggered by the police killing of George Floyd and other Black people were spreading across the nation, Price wrote a Facebook post that defended law enforcement and indicated that he had never been racially profiled.

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"With all the tension and animosity going on with race" and police, Price wrote in the June 15 post that he was "on the same fence" as Lil Wayne. The rapper has spoken about the time a white police officer saved his life and said he doesn't feel "connected" to the Black Lives Matter movement.

In the post, Price suggested that he didn't believe that he, as a Black man, was treated differently by law enforcement officers in Texas.

"There were times i should have been detained for speeding, outstanding citations, out dated registration, dozing off at a red light before making it to my garage downtown Dallas after a lonnng night out," he wrote.

"I've passed a sobriety test after leaving a bar in Wylie, Texas by 2 white cops and still let me drive to 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."

In a series of posts on May 31, Price condemned the "aggressive rioting" and looting that took place in the days after Floyd's death.

"Now y'all are increasing the chances of MORE PROFILING by cops when they roll them TROOPERS in town this summer 2020 (& I haven't even experienced profiling)," he wrote in one post.

"Y'all won't be getting them to leave town after this idiotic stunt, aggressive rioting... how many blacks y'all gonna get pulled over and jumped now..."

He added: "Just fanning the [fire] dummies, I cant even claim it."

In another post that day, he wrote: 'Humans looting black owned and other races owned businesses, isn't that off from the 'BIG PICTURE' of all this?

"Didn't nobody want to really really bad enough get that human in uniform off em, or they would have looted and rioted right then to give him a few seconds to breath... it's always an after effect.. and i dont even know how it all started."

He added: "If y'all see me with a knee on my neck, throw some rocks or something, take their attention off me... give me as many more seconds i can get RIGHT THEN, not when I'm gone."

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In the June post, Price also wrote about the families he was close to in his hometown, saying the "amount of food fed to me, [money] they spent on me, outweighs any BS about race or color right now."

He added: "Not saying black lives don't matter... but don't forget about your own, or your experiences through growth / 'waking up'."

That post has attracted dozens of new comments since Price's death.

"I need every single person from this town who this man believed saw him as a human and not a threat to be loud and outraged at police Brutality," Judah Agbonkhina wrote.

"I need every single person who applauded this young mans trust in a system that OBVIOUSLY didn't trust him to speak up against this police force and all others involved in the murders of Innocent Black Lives."

Sky Harrison added: "This is horrible! I don't even need to see footage to see he was innocent. You can tell by his mindset from his posts. He felt comfortable with THEM and they didn't feel that same comfort with HIM. That's the issue!"

BLM
Demonstrators march past a mural remembering George Floyd during a peaceful protest against police brutality and racism on June 6, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. Cooper Neill/Getty Images