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A Former Texas Police Officer who Allegedly Killed 16-year-old Jose Cruz is Sentenced by a Jury to 10 Years in Prison

Addison TX
Aerial view of Addison, Texas (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

A former Texas police officer charged with the March 2016 shooting death of 16-year-old Jose Cruz in Addison, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas, was sentenced by a jury to 10 years in prison on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. The officer, who was 35 years old and off duty at the time of the alleged shooting, had chased Cruz and another suspect into Addison. The officer then allegedly rammed the teens’ vehicle with his sport utility vehicle and fired multiple shots into their car, which severely injured one teen and killed Cruz.

Early in the investigation into the alleged police shooting, it was determined that there was probable cause for arrest. The police officer was arrested on March 15, 2016, however. He was charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and released on a $150,000 bond shortly thereafter. Cruz’s mother was interviewed after the arrest and stated her opinion that the officer deserves the death penalty. She also expressed surprise that the officer was arrested at all, saying that as a police officer, he is among those who have the power.

According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted by the National Police Research Platform a year ago, even police officers in the U.S. agree with those who think bad cops are not usually held accountable. About 72% of the police officers surveyed said that officers who consistently do a poor job are not usually held to account. Police officers were almost split on their opinion about the disciplinary process in their respective agencies being fair, with about 46% in agreement and 53% in disagreement.

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–Guest Contributor

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