The family of an autistic man the policeman shot claims the death was wrongful, and the city attorney's office is opposing that argument at trial. The LAPD had ousted the officer over a different case.
In his short time as a Los Angeles police officer, Joseph Cruz earned a reputation as a hard-charging cop. He opted to work nights in a "very aggressive unit" in Hollywood, using force on suspects when the circumstances called for it, court records show. A supervisor once testified that he wished he had 40 officers just like Cruz.
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