Man who shot 2 Detroit cops sentenced to probation
The Detroit man who shot two city police officers in April was sentenced Wednesday to two years of probation, with the first 90 days to be served in the Wayne County Jail.
Juwan Plummer pleaded guilty earlier this month to wounding the police officers at his home in the 20500 block of Lesure on Detroit’s northwest side.
Plummer’s attorney has maintained that he believed the officers were burglars trying to break into his home. Someone in Plummer’s home had called police to report a possible break-in on the man’s street before the April 16 shooting.
He was sentenced Wednesday before Third Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway.
The judge said there was “no ideal” outcome for Plummer’s case. Hathaway said Plummer’s case is “tragically complicated” and that it occurs in the context of “an unfortunate abundance” of conflict across the country between police officers and citizens that has resulted in the death of citizens as well as the death or injury of officers.
“These two police officers could have perished as a result of what happened,” said Hathaway. “And yet I think everybody understands that you were not acting maliciously ... that you had no intention of injuring a police officer as such and that you acted as a result of ... inexperience and you were thrust into circumstances that you never should have been thrust into.”
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Sarah DeYoung said the officers, who were identified as Matthew Windquist and Tyler Simmons, “didn’t deserve this.”
DeYoung said the two officers, of the Detroit Police Department’s 12th Precinct, volunteered for the run instead of waiting for it to be assigned to them.
The prosecutor said the officers went a step forward and investigated even when they did not see any evidence of a burglary in the area, which was the basis for the run.
“They were doing everything that we would hope the officers of the city of Detroit would do when Officer Windquist got shot in the neck and face,” DeYoung said during the sentencing hearing. “He has injuries that will permanently affect him.”
Simmons has been on the force for 14 months. Windquist, who has been a police officer for two years, had to have his jaw wired shut.
Speaking before Hathaway sentenced Plummer, DeYoung questioned the case’s outcome.
“We feel that it is making the officers accountable (for the shooting) ... and is not appropriately addressing Mr. Plummer’s own accountability,” she said. “Your honor, this kind of treatment sends a message to law enforcement that we don’t value what they’re doing. It encourages them to sit back and drive by in their car instead of (doing) what we really need them to do right now.”
Earlier this month, Plummer pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional discharge of a firearm in a building causing injury.
The charges carry up to 15 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of felony firearm.
As part of Plummer’s plea deal, two counts of felonious assault were dismissed.
Plummer thanked the judge and apologized for shooting the officers. He said the violence in his neighborhood and his community caused the “terrible” incident.
“I never would want to take a hard-working man’s life especially away from their family. I really hope they understand that,” said Plummer who was comforted by his attorney as he cried through his comments.
As part of his probation, Plummer must complete gun safety classes if he is ever to own a firearm once his probation has ended. He also must complete high school or get a GED to find “gainful employment.”