FARMERS BRANCH, Texas - The family of a 16-year-old who was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer met with city leaders in Farmers Branch Wednesday. After the meeting, the family of Jose Cruz decided to drop the suit.
"We are moving on," said Carlos Quintanilla, an activist with Accion America. "We're going to focus on getting the indictment on Officer Ken Johnson and we thank the city of Farmers Branch for making sure Ana’s (Cruz's mother) concerns were addressed."
Cruz’s family went to city hall hoping to meet with Mayor Bob Phelps, but he was unavailable. Instead, City Manager Charles Cox assured them the city will not pay for Officer Kenneth Johnson’s legal defense.
"We got what we wanted," said Quintanilla. "And that is a face to face meeting with the family of Jose Cruz. Whether it was a problem of communication or missing context, we're happy."
Officer Johnson was off duty when he saw the teen and his friend breaking in to cars outside an apartment complex on March 13. He confronted them and fatally shot Cruz.
Johnson is now facing murder and aggravated assault charges. He has resigned from the Farmers Branch Police Department.
Protestors gathered outside city hall earlier this week. The group had demanded the mayor meet with Cruz’s mother. They also wanted the city to give a public apology to the teen’s family. Police officers had to escort Phelps to his car after a council meeting.
It was a dramatic exit the mayor says didn't have to happen.
"Our hearts, my heart goes out to the family of Jose Cruz. Its a very difficult situation to be in and I understand that," said Mayor Phelps."I certainly understand the mother's grief and it's a tragedy it certainly is. But you know, it happened. But justice will take its course."
Johnson’s criminal case is still pending. It has not been referred to a grand jury yet.