The Baltimore officer in question is Wesley Cagle. He shot what he believed to be a burgler – Michael Johansen – in 2014, authorities claim that the victim, whom Cagle killed, was unarmed and subdued on the ground.
“In light of recent events, the commissioner and I recognize the need to be transparent and forthcoming regarding any serious allegation of police brutality or misconduct,” Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said. Wednesday, Mosby announced that Cagle, a 14-year veteran of the department, has been charged with “attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, and use of a handgun in a crime of violence.” Bail set at $1M.
“Based on eyewitness accounts, while Johansen was lying on the floor, Officer Leary and Officer Smith were continuing to cover him with their guns drawn,” Mosby said.
“Officer Wesley Cagle, on his own initiative, came out of the alley in the rear of the store, walked in front of Officer Leary and Officer Smith and approached Johansen with his gun drawn. Officer Cagle positioned himself over top of Johansen at which time Johansen stated, ‘What did you shoot me with? A bean bag?’ and Officer Cagle replied, ‘No, a .40-caliber, you piece of (expletive),” said Mosby, according to the station.
“Officer Cagle then took aim and fired his .40-caliber departmental-issued firearm one time, striking Johansen in the groin area,” Mosby said, adding, “No weapon was recovered from Johansen or the crime scene.”
“Today’s serious criminal charges against a Baltimore police officer happened because our internal investigations worked. When we establish evidence that a police officer commits a crime, our hand-in-glove relationship with the State’s Attorney Office will ensure justice prevails,” Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told the news station.
“The hardworking men and women of the Baltimore Police Department expect public-safety leadership to ensure those who put on this patch and wear this badge represent the values of our organization and community,” he said.