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Former policeman found responsible for fatal shooting of autistic man

A federal jury determined Monday that a former LAPD officer was wrong to fatally shoot an autistic man in 2008.

Mohammed Usman Chaudhry, 21-year-old Pakistani, was shot and killed by ex-officer Joseph Cruz near Curson Avenue south of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

In a unanimous verdict against the Cruz and the City of Los Angeles, the jury rejected the former policeman’s account of the shooting.

Cruz has insisted that Chaudhry tried to attack him with a knife and that he fired his gun in self-defense.

The jury will hear arguments beginning Tuesday in the damages phase of the trial to decide what monetary award, if any, Chaudhry’s family deserves.

The jury announced its decision after more than a day of deliberations. It found that Cruz used excessive force in the shooting and that he had acted in “a reckless, oppressive or malicious manner.”

Reporter Joel Rubin has more: Jury finds ex-LAPD officer liable in 2008 killing

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