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Ken Johnson, 37, was convicted of murder for killing 16-year-old Jose Cruz

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A former Farmers Branch police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for chasing down and killing a teenager he caught breaking into his SUV.

Ken Johnson, 37, was convicted of murder and aggravated assault in December for killing 16-year-old Jose Cruz and seriously wounding his friend in March 2016.

Johnson also received 10 years’ probation for the aggravated assault, after the jury agreed that his actions constituted a crime of passion. He could be paroled after serving half of his sentence but would still face five years of probation after that. Johnson had faced up to life in prison.

Members of Cruz’s family did not believe 10 years was enough for Johnson. They said they plan to fight to make sure he does not get paroled.

During a victim impact statement, Cruz’s cousin pointed out that Johnson has two sons who must live with the verdict.

“Your sons will know that,” Nora Rubi said. “They will not see you as the hero you were before.”

She said Johnson would want a harsher sentence if his own family were the victims.

Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson also questioned the former cop’s sentence, saying he had violated his oath to protect and serve.

“We all believe a life is worth more than 10 years,” she said.

Ken Johnson took the stand this week during the sentencing portion of his trial, saying Monday that he felt the evidence showed he fired in self-defense.

Johnson was off duty and in plain clothes when he chased down Cruz and Edgar Rodriguez after the two 16-year-olds broke into his Chevrolet Tahoe at his Farmers Branch apartment complex.

After stealing the third-row seats from his vehicle, the teens took off in a car, and Johnson chased them in his SUV.

After about a mile, Johnson rammed their car off the road, hopped out of his Tahoe and shot 16 times into the teens’ car.

Cruz was killed, and Rodriguez was seriously wounded. Rodriguez testified in December that the teens didn’t know Johnson was chasing them until moments before the crash.

Johnson said that he saw Cruz reach down after the crash, and that he believed the teen was grabbing a weapon. He testified Monday that he believed one of Cruz’s wounds showed he was leaning down when Johnson fired.

“I just wanted to see his hands,” Johnson said.

The teens were unarmed.

The shooting was one of many nationwide that have received public scrutiny about officers’ use of fatal force.

Juries in Dallas County have been less inclined to convict police officers who have been charged with a crime. But Jason Hermus, the lead prosecutor in Johnson’s murder trial, said he believes that’s changing.

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Dallas

Brandt Jean Honored With Ethical Courage Award for Forgiving Brother’s Killer

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Brandt Jean accepted an award for forgiving Amber Guyger of murdering his brother Botham Jean. The award received is called the Ethical Courage Award from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.

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I am extremely proud of my baby brother, Brandt, for accepting this award of ethical courage from the Center for Law Enforcement Ethics. This award presented an opportunity to implore this institution and others to encourage diverse leadership that can model inclusion and restraint. To quote Brandt, “I ask that you remember my brother (Botham), my example of ethical leadership, a young black male that was perceived as a threat by one of your own. And when you remember him, I want you to ask yourself, what are you doing to ensure there will be no other families like mine – no other little brothers that have to model ethical leadership in forgiveness of a cop whose lack of training and discipline caused them to carelessly take the life of another”. #BeLikeBo #Iammybrotherskeeper #itsonus #BothamJean #Bothamshemjean #letitrise

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According to NBCDFW During his acceptance speech Tuesday, Jean that he never meant for his words to Guyger to be heard worldwide, but that he thought after the verdict and sentencing she needed to be forgiven and that, similarly, he needed to offer that forgiveness.

“I never intended for the statement that I made to the person who murdered my brother to receive such international recognition,” Jean said. “After being found guilty by a jury of her peers, sentenced under the law, Miss Guyger needed to be forgiven and I needed to be free from the burden of unforgiveness.” Read More Here

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Dallas

Brandt Jean, Brother Of Botham, To Receive Award For Actions During Amber Guyger Murder Trial

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According to DFWCBS On Tuesday, the brother of Botham Jean will receive an award for his actions during the Amber Guyger murder trial.

During the sentencing phase of the trial in Dallas, 18-year-old Brandt Jean told Guyger he forgave her for killing his brother, then asked the judge’s permission to step down from the stand and hug her.

Amber Guyger is the former Dallas police officer convicted of murdering Botham Jean. A jury sentenced her to 10 years in prison.

Brandt’s actions brought the courtroom to tears. Many called his gesture an act of humanity that helped the greater community’s healing process in a highly publicized case. Read More Here

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Dallas

2 Young Men, 1 Juvenile Girl Arrested For Capital Murder At Duncanville Apartment

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According to DFWCBS On Wednesday, November 25, Duncanville Police Department detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Cornelius Lydell Broadway, 17, of DeSoto.

At the time the capital murder warrant was obtained, Broadway was being held in the Dallas County Jail on other charges.

He remains in the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office custody with the additional charge of capital murder and bond set at $500,000 for the murder of Smoker.

On Friday, November 27, Duncanville detectives arrested Jeromey Lemar Young Jr., 17, of Dallas who was also charged with capital murder with bond set at $500,000. Read More Here

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