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



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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21-year-old son of Dallas school trustee shot to death in east Oak Cliff, officials say



The 21-year-old son of a Dallas ISD trustee was shot and killed Thursday morning in east Oak Cliff, officials said.

Christopher Whitfield Johnson was shot about 1:30 a.m. in the 3600 block of Utah Avenue, just off Overton Road, police said. He was found in the street with a gunshot wound in the chest.

Whitfield was taken to Methodist Dallas Medical Center, where he died. 

Authorities say he’s the son of Maxie Johnson, a Baptist pastor who represents West Dallas, Oak Lawn, Uptown and much of south Oak Cliff on the school board. 

“My colleague Maxie Johnson is the epitome of a great father — one who has put his heart and soul into raising his children,” said Miguel Solis, a fellow school trustee and former mayoral candidate. “My heart breaks for him and his family.

Whitfield’s mom called 911 after a friend of the family knocked on her door to tell her that her son had been shot.

Dallas police had no leads or suspects but said that part of town was a trouble spot for gang-related crime.

“We constantly deploy personnel in that area,” Dallas police Maj. Danny Williams said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. 

Whitfield’s mother lives near the street where he was found, Williams said.

Read More at Dallasnews

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Rapper mad over ‘diss’ track shoots wrong home, kills 9-year-old girl, Dallas cops say



The 9-year-old Dallas girl who was shot in gang-related gunfire this week was killed by accident during a feud between two rappers, according to police.

Dallas police said in a news release Thursday that Tyrese Simmons, a 19-year-old rapper, is the main suspect in the death of 9-year-old Brandoniya Bennett. Simmons has turned himself in, CBS DFW reports.

Simmons went to an apartment building on Munger Avenue in Old East Dallas around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday to confront someone, but the person would not come out, according to police — so Simmons “circled around to the back of the apartment complex and opened fire on the wrong apartment, fatally striking Brandoniya who was inside at the time.”

According to police, the gunman and intended target “used social media to disparage” one another in an argument that “ultimately led to the shooting.” Police described Simmons as upset over a rival’s “diss” track, according to CBS DFW. The TV station reported that Brandoniya “was simply sitting on her couch when she was stuck by a bullet in the head.” Police said the girl had nothing to do with either rapper, FOX 4 reports.

The shooting proved fatal despite the efforts of police, firefighters and witnesses to rush Brandoniya for medical care, according to CBS. Brandoniya was pronounced dead at Baylor Hospital, police said.

“This is a baby,” said Lakeitha Washington, a friend of the victim’s mother, according to KTVT. “This is crazy; this is beyond crazy.”

Authorities got emotional speaking of the girl’s death, according to FOX 4.

“Those are the people that don’t think about safety because — as adults, as parents, as police officers — we’re supposed to make them safe. As community leaders, we’re supposed to make them safe,” said Maj. Danny Williams, per FOX 4. “She was sitting in her house. She felt safe.”

Detectives said the shooting was gang-related.

Williams asked for anyone with information in the case to come forward, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“She was 9 years old. She would have started school today,” Williams said at a press conference. “She got her nails done yesterday.”

News Source at Star – Telegram

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9-Year-Old Black Girl Shot, Killed In Old East Dallas



UPDATED: August 14, 2019  1:15 PM – Dallas police say Tyrese Simmons, 19, is the suspect in the gang-related shooting death of Brandoniya Bennett. Witnesses told police a rap battle in front of the little girl’s apartment lead to the violence.

A 9-year-old girl was shot and killed in the 3500 block of Munger Avenue in Dallas on Wednesday.

It happened at an apartment complex around 5:30 p.m.

Police said someone fired a gun into the wrong apartment.

Police have determined the shooting was gang-related.

Police say the suspects came to an apartment looking for a tenant inside.

When the tenant refused to come out, suspects went around to the back of the building.

One of the suspects fired a shot into the wrong apartment, striking the young girl, police said.

Police said they are searching for the suspects.

Lakeitha Washington told CBS 11 she is best friends with the deceased child’s mother.

“I was praying for better news,” Washington said. “This is a baby. This is crazy. This is beyond crazy messed up.”

Anyone with information regarding this deadly shooting, can call Dallas Police Homicide at 214-671-3584.

News Source at CBSNEWS

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