Miami-Dade police officer Jonathan Lang could have received more than 20 years in prison for shooting at a car driven by a corrections officer in a 2014 road rage incident.
Especially considering he was caught on camera tampering with evidence in the hours after the shooting.
But he cried before the judge during his sentencing Thursday, blaming his actions on his “personal demons.”
And that apparently was enough for the judge to spare him any prison time, sentencing him to 10 months probation instead.
He must also forfeit his law enforcement certificate and his firearms, abstain from drugs and alcohol and perform 500 hours of community service, the latter which can be a cakewalk if you know the right people.
And somebody with his Blue Privilege will always know the right people.
Lang was riding in the passenger seat of a car driven by his wife in July 2014 when he became angry at the driver of another car driven by Miami-Dade Corrections Officer Georgina Illa.
She said they cut her off. He says she cut them off. At one point, she flashed her high beams at them before trying to pass them on the Florida Turnpike.
Lang, who was 42 at the time, rolled down his window and threw a plastic bottle at her car.
He then pulled out his gun and fired, the bullet tearing through the rear of the car and ending up lodged in the passenger seat.
Illa, who was not injured, flagged down a Miami-Dade cop, not realizing her attacker was also a Miami-Dade cop.
A Florida state trooper then pulled Lang and his wife over and noticed a fuse panel behind the glove compartment appeared “to be disturbed,” which led him to be believe Lang had hidden the gun there.
The car was impounded at a tow truck lot while the Florida Highway Patrol waited to obtain a search warrant from a judge.
By the time cops searched it, they found two loaded 9 mm magazine cartridges, including one with a single bullet missing – but they never found the gun.
The passenger side also tested positive for gun residue.
His wife, Christine Lang, also called a friend, Miami-Dade Sgt. Matthew Fryer, and told him her husband had been involved “a road rage incident.”
Lang also called Fryer and told him, “I fucked up” and “I’m going to lose my job.”
He was right about that as he will no longer be allowed to work as police officer in Florida.
Lang pleaded guilty in October to charges of discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle, assault and tampering with evidence.
“It’s true I had personal demons,” Lang told the judge during his sentencing Thursday.
“I was fighting and I was using alcohol as my drug to cope with the pain I was feeling. I knew it was wrong, but it was the only way I knew how.”
As for Illa, she will never forget his face.
“I remember his face and I remember the hatred in his face as he was pointing his gun, and we were next to each other because he was on the passenger side and I was on the driver side,” Illa testified.
Lang could have received a minimum sentence of 20 years for the charges, but prosecutors asked the judge to wave that standard, seeking five years in prison instead.
But Miami-Dade County Judge Daryl Trawick found that too harsh of a sentence.