Below the belt

Rain today, and lots of it. Some areas could see over an inch of rain in a short period of time. Drier tomorrow, but windy.


Baltimore Police officer Wesley Cagle is charged with attempted murder after shooting an unarmed burglary suspect back in December. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, alongside interim police chief Kevin Davis, announced the charges yesterday afternoon.

Here’s how it allegedly went down: on December 28th, four officers responded to a burglary call on the 3000 block of East Monument Street. When the officers arrived they found a masked man (Michael Johansen, 46, white) holding something shiny. Johansen didn’t listen to orders from the officers and reached towards his waist – when two of the officers, fearing for their safety, shot him (Mosby says this shooting was justified). With Johansen wounded on the floor, Cagle moved past the other officers with guns still drawn and stood over Johansen.

Johansen asked “What did you shoot me with, a beanbag?”

Cagle replied “No, a .40-caliber, you piece of shit,” and shot Johansen in the groin.

Cagle is charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault. He’d been suspended with pay since the incident, and without pay since yesterday. As of this morning, Cagle was arrested and is being held without bond.

Interim police commissioner Kevin Davis says the charges are tough to swallow, but the right thing.

Davis: “It doesn’t make me feel very good at all, but what’s really important here is that the integrity of our profession, the integrity of our agency, wins out.”


Earlier in the day, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that it’s a good sign that arrests in Baltimore are back on the rise, and that the city is making progress in its crime fight. After April’s unrest, arrests in the city dropped dramatically in an apparent slowdown by Baltimore Police officers. Rawlings-Blake says that higher arrests show police have gone back to work, “positive indicators that officers are engaged on every level and that things are turning around.”



While Baltimore’s arrest numbers might be on the rise, the city’s ‘murder-a-day or more’ surge of violence rolls on. Yesterday brought the year’s 211th homicide, matching 2014’s total for the entire year. A man was found dead from a gunshot wound inside a vacant home near the intersection of North and Pennsylvania.


Hotel bookings in Baltimore fell sharply after April, causing almost a 9% decline for the fiscal year that ended in June.The drop comes despite last fall’s major Star-Spangled Spectacular event. The tourism and convention industry is hoping to see some recovery soon, with hopes that upcoming events like spring’s Light City Baltimore will draw a crowd.