Judge sets $1 million bail for Baltimore cop charged with shooting suspect

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 20, 2015 5:57 PM

By Donna Owens

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - A Maryland judge set $1 million bail on Thursday for a Baltimore police officer facing attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting an unarmed and already subdued burglary suspect.

Officer Wesley Cagle, 45, appeared via video link for the bail hearing before Baltimore City District Judge Halee Weinstein. She cited the "callous" nature of the alleged crime when setting Cagle's bail at $1 million. He posted bond and was released, court records showed.

The charges come as Baltimore police face increased scrutiny following the April death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died from an injury in police custody. His death triggered protests and rioting, and six officers have been charged in the case.

Baltimore police are also grappling with a surge in homicides. They have reached 212 so far this year, more than for all of 2014.

Cagle was among four officers who responded to a report of a burglary at a store in December. Two officers came upon the suspected burglar, Michael Johansen, as he was leaving the store, according to a charging document.

They ordered him to show his hands, and shot him when he reached toward his waist.

As Johansen was lying on the ground and the other officers were covering him with their pistols, Cagle approached him and shot him in the groin after an exchange of words, the statement said.

The charges against Cagle include attempted first- and second-degree murder, assault and a firearms violation. He was arrested and booked on Wednesday.

Johansen faces a burglary charge.

(Writing by Ian Simpson; Editing by Eric Walsh)