Craig Miller

L.A. defends officer who was fired for dishonesty

L.A. defends officer who was fired for dishonesty

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.

The praise, however, soon turned to suspicion and later disbelief. In 2007, a witness said he saw the 25-year-old Cruz pistol-whip a suspect, leaving a bloody gash on the man's head. Cruz claimed the man caused the injury himself by lifting his head into the butt of the gun. Ultimately, Cruz was fired for dishonesty after he gave shifting...

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