Black Officer Ken Johnson Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Latino Teen Jose Cruz


Black Officer Ken Johnson Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Latino Teen Jose Cruz

Ken Johnson, an officer with the Farmers Branch police force in Dallas County, has been arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault in the fatal weekend shooting of Jose Cruz. 

Cruz, a 16-year-old Latino, was chased in a car by Johnson on Sunday. The officer was off-duty and suspected Cruz and another another boy named Edgar Rodriguez had attempted to break into a vehicle. Johnson then opened fire, fatally wounding Cruz and seriously wounding Rodriguez, who has since been hospitalized. Both Cruz and Rodriguez were unarmed. 

"We're conducting the internal investigation," David Leisure, a public information officer at the Farmers Branch police department, told Mic. "[Johnson] has been placed on administrative leave in accordance with our departmental policy. He has no police credentials, no police powers at this time, pending the completion of internal affairs investigation."

Johnson has been released on bond. The case is one of several recent officer-involved shootings that has grabbed headlines, but is unique in that Johnson, the officer, is African-American, while the two shooting victims are Latino.

For many observers, the same familiar critiques of institutional racism still apply even though Johnson, the officer involved, is black.

Cruz was laid to rest on Thursday.