Bail is $1 million for officer charged in suspect shooting

AP News
|
Posted: Aug 20, 2015 2:16 PM
Bail is $1 million for officer charged in suspect shooting

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore judge on Thursday set bail at $1 million for a police officer charged with attempted murder in what authorities describe as the shooting of a subdued burglary suspect at close range.

District Court Judge Halee Weinstein cited the "heinous and callous" nature of the allegations as she set bail for Officer Wesley Cagle, who appeared by closed circuit television. Cagle is charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder and other offenses.

Cagle shot Michael Johansen in December after Johansen was shot by other officers, according to a statement of probable cause.

Cagle's attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.

Cagle and Johansen are white, according to the state's attorney's office. Race hasn't been raised as a factor in the case, but it comes amid a national debate about the deaths of black men at the hands of police.

At a news conference Wednesday, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Cagle and three other police officers responded to a report of a commercial burglary on Dec. 28, 2014. As the suspect — Johansen, who has also been charged — tried to leave the building, two of the officers stopped him and told him to show his hands. When Johansen reached downward, the two officers fired their service weapons, striking Johansen multiple times and causing him to collapse on the floor. That's when Cagle approached Johansen with his gun drawn, the probable cause statement said. Johansen asked the officers whether they had fired bullets or beanbags at him, according to charging documents.

"No, a .40-caliber, you piece of s---," the documents quote Cagle as saying to Johansen before firing one shot, striking him in the groin.

Johansen was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment, and survived his injuries. No weapon was recovered from Johansen, Mosby said. The three other officers involved were cleared of any wrongdoing.

In addition to the attempted-murder charges, Cagle faces charges of first- and second-degree assault and use of a handgun in a crime of violence.

The charges come less than four months after six Baltimore police officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old black man died a week after suffering a critical spinal injury in the back of a police transport van.