Farmers Branch Officer Arrested for Murder
Earlier this week Farmers Branch police officer Kim Johnson was arrested for the felony charges of murder and aggravated assault. Sunday evening Johnson chased after teenagers Jose Cruz and Edgar Rodriguez after he saw them breaking into his vehicle. Johnson rammed the Cruz’s car which caused it to wreck. Johnson then exited his car and fired multiple shots into the car killing Cruz and wounding Rodriguez. The event was apparently captured on a cell phone camera.
Johnson was off duty at the time and told authorities he had repeatedly identified himself as a police officer prior to the shooting. Johnson’s attorney has stated Johnson fired his weapon because he was in fear of his life. At a news conference the Farmers Branch Police Chief told reporters that it was against the Farmers Branch Police Department’s policy to have off duty officers pursue suspects in their private vehicles. It was also a violation for an officer to ram a suspects car during pursuit.
Events involved quickly when the Addison Police Department quickly arrested Johnson. Most deadly shootings involving police officers are referred to a Grand Jury prior to arrest. The quick arrest is a strong indication that the police have strong evidence such as video and or eye witness accounts that contradict Officer Johnson’s version of events.
The victims families have expressed outrage and organized several protest. Other members of the public have questioned why Officer Johnson was arrested at all and believe he was within his rights to fire his weapon at two individuals who had committed a crime.
This case centers on the issue of self defense. Texas law allows a person to use deadly force if they have a “reasonable belief” deadly force is ” immediately” necessary to prevent the other person from using deadly force against you. The law doesn’t allow you to shoot some one who has just stolen your property. You must be in fear of your life. That is what this case will boil down to. Will Kim Johnson’s attorney be able to convince a grand jury or a jury that he was acting in self defense.