Former Police Officer Charged With Murder In Teen’s Death

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A former North Texas police officer was indicted in the shootings of two teenagers.

Ken Johnson, who resigned from the Farmers Branch police department shortly after the incident in March, is now facing charges of murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Relatives of 16-year-old Jose Cruz, who was killed, gathered at his gravesite at Crown Hill Memorial Park late Friday afternoon.

Their representative, activist Carlos Quintinilla said, “They’re very, very ecstatic. They’re relieved, they’re at peace, they’re very happy and they’re very appreciative.”

Investigators say Johnson was off-duty in March when he spotted Cruz and his friend Edgar Rodriguez Arevalo trying to steal seats out of his SUV. Authorities say Johnson chased the teens in Addison and surveillance video shows Johnson ramming the teens’ red car.

Afterward, Johnson is accused of shooting them, killing Cruz and hitting Rodriguez in the head. The charges come six months after the shooting, and legal experts say investigations involving police shootings typically take longer than cases with just civilians.

Former State District Judge in Dallas, John Creuzot, who’s now in private practice says, “With the political climate that we live in, everyone wants to be certain one way or the other that the case is being handled properly, that no stone has been left unturned and so usually, these kinds of cases will take a little longer.”

Quintinilla credits police. “You can’t complain the police department or the investigation was no good, was not transparent. Well, it was transparent.”

Johnson’s attorney, Robert Rogers issued a statement saying, “An indictment was a predetermined formality once Addison quickly and prematurely decided to arrest Ken. At trial, we expect to prove that Ken was the victim of a crime and his actions were justified.”

Cruz’s relatives say they hope once this case goes to trial, a jury will convict Johnson of both charges.

They have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Farmers Branch and Johnson.

Follow Jack on Twitter: @cbs11jack

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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