From [HERE] A judge sentenced a white Baltimore police officer Friday to 12 years in prison for shooting an unarmed Black man suspected of burglary, citing irreparable harm to the victim and the community's trust in police.
Circuit Judge Wanda Keyes Heard said Wesley Cagle, 47, committed "an egregious violation" and failed to "serve and protect" when he shot Michael Johansen in December 2014.
Cagle, a 15-year-veteran of the force, was convicted in August of first-degree assault and a handgun charge for shooting Johansen in the groin as he lay in the doorway of an East Baltimore corner store after two other officers had already shot him.
Johansen testified that Cagle stood over him and called him a "piece of shit" before shooting him.
Heard spoke of the comment during the sentencing, describing how Cagle did not refer to Johansen as a citizen as he lay on the ground, but "something that might be stuck on a person's shoe." She also pointed out that Johansen lost a large stretch of his intestines and part of his kidney as a result of the shooting.
Heard sentenced Cagle to 12 years for the first-degree assault charge and the five-year minimum sentence for the handgun charge, which does not allow parole. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Cagle was terminated by the department Friday, a police spokesman said.
Cagle's attorneys, Chaz Ball and Joe Murtha, had asked the judge to give Cagle probation before judgment [means no jail time and a dismisal if no re-arrests occur during a period of time: an outrageous request]. But Heard said she was bound by the law to give the minimum five-year sentence for the handgun charge.
Cagle was one of several officers who were called to a corner store in the 3000 block of E. Monument St. the morning of Dec. 28, 2014. Johansen testified during the trial that he has long been addicted to heroin and planned to rob the store.
Two officers — Isiah Smith and Keven Leary — confronted Johansen and told him to show his hands, prosecutors said. When he didn't comply and instead reached toward his waist, they fired at him.
Johansen fell to the floor, his body partially inside of the store and his feet on the steps outside.
Cagle testified that he shot at Johansen because he saw a shiny object that could have been a weapon. But jurors told The Baltimore Sun after the verdict that they did not believe Cagle.
"There was no need for him to take that final shot," jury foreman Jerome Harper, 64, said after the trial.
Jurors acquitted Cagle of the most serious charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder.
Smith and Leary were cleared in the shooting and testified against him.
State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby praised Smith and Leary for their testimony.
"If it weren't for his colleagues who broke the blue code of silence, we would not have been here right now today," she told reporters outside the courthouse following the sentencing. "Justice was served. He is now going to prison for 12 years. He abused the power, the trust, and the authority of that badge, and that's unacceptable."
Johansen did not attend the sentencing. He told The Baltimore Sun in 2015 that he did not want Cagle to go to prison.
"It'll probably mess with me a little bit if this man goes to prison because of me," he said in the interview.
Cagle was the first Baltimore officer to be charged in an on-duty shooting since 2008, when jurors acquitted Tommy Sanders III of manslaughter for the fatal shooting of an unarmed man.