Mixed opinions from experts on job prospects of ex-Farmers Branch officer

Ken Johnson resigned from the Farmers Branch police department before the internal investigation into the shooting incident that killed a teen was completed. Now experts have mixed opinions on if he could get hired again by another law enforcement agency.

Jose Cruz, 16, was shot multiple times and died from his wounds. Edgar Rodriguez was in the red Dodge Charger and survived. Johnson faces criminal charges for murder and aggravated assault and resigned on Thursday.

If Johnson is not indicted or convicted, there is a possibility he could get a job again in law enforcement.

Farmers Branch police will have to indicate on a document filed with the state whether when Johnson resigned he was:

  • Honorably discharged while in good standing
  • Received a general discharge and was terminated by retired or resigned related to a disciplinary investigation of conduct
  • Was dishonorably discharged and retired or resigned in lieu of termination in relation to allegations of criminal misconduct.

“Now one dishonorable discharge isn’t going to prevent an officer from finding employment elsewhere,” said attorney and former officer Pete Schulte, who’s not involved in the case. “It will just have to go through some more hurdles to be able to get appointed.”

Schulte believes it will be characterized as a dishonorable discharge.

Retired federal judge Joe Kendall, a former Dallas police officer now in private practice, believes if Johnson is no-billed or faces trial and is not convicted he won’t be able to get past this incident.

“This man is now radioactive forever more in the age of the internet,” Kendall said. “The stories that have already been published thus far live forever.”

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