Bodycam footage shows Maryland police officer fatally shoot man who charged at him with knife
The Montgomery County Police have shared footage showing sergeant David Cohen in a fatal shootout with a knife-wielding man
SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND: The Montgomery County Police have released a video on Friday showing a fatal shootout with a man.
The video was taken from a police officer's body camera in a shooting that resulted in a knife-carrying man dead. The footage shows the police officer warning the man to drop his weapon and get on the ground as the man darts towards the officer.
The video clip starts with sergeant David Cohen who is seen sporting a mask inside his squad car. 15 seconds later, he is seen stepping out of his vehicle and sees Finan H Berhe who was walking on the sidewalk carrying a large butcher knife.
Berhe had been seen walking in the 1500 block of Hadden Manor Court. While confronting Berhe in a residential parking lot, Cohen fired the first of around five shots at the knife-wielding individual on Wednesday, May 6, afternoon.
Berhe, 30, ran at officer Cohen with the knife in his hands. He then suddenly stopped and stood still and retreats as the audio from the body camera turns on. Cohen can be heard yelling at Berhe, "Put the knife down!" He then grabs his police radio and tells dispatch to upgrade the call, ABC7 reports.
"Step 'em up. We've got one with a knife refusing to get down on the ground," he told dispatch. "Get on the ground! I don't want to shoot you!" Cohen yells at Berhe who starts running at the officer again. The 30-year-old, who was sporting a gray sweatshirt, black pants, and a pair of white sneakers, then fell to the ground and dropped the object he was carrying.
Cohen repeated the command "get on the ground" at least five times in the video. A female dispatcher can be heard over the police channel, "For units heading to the weapons call, step it up priority. Authority of 2-Ida-10."
Post the shooting, a man is heard saying, "Man down!" The police revealed that investigators were able to recover a knife that Berhe had been carrying. Berhe died in hospital, the authorities revealed before adding that no officers were injured, US News reveals.
15 minutes before the incident had taken place, a person had called 911 to report a man who matched Berhe's description, walking around holding a knife and behaving very erratically. As per records, Berhe had been living in the neighborhood for around a decade.
Silver Spring Justice Coalition did question the measures implemented by Cohen used in the moments before the shooting. The group looks at ending "police abuse" in Montgomery County and Maryland. They took to Twitter to share, "Police should have de-escalated - they escalated things, screaming their head off, pointing a gun at a man having a mental health crisis."
"Many videos online showing cops defusing situations like this, especially when subjects are white. MCPD lack any capacity for de-escalation," the tweet read. Will Jawando, a member of the Montgomery County Council addressed the shooting on Twitter and said he was "deeply saddened" by it.
"There is a full investigation underway and I will continue to monitor the developments and share updates with the community. I send my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Berhe and to the officer involved in the shooting," he had written.
Over recent years, Montgomery Police have been accused of several alleged issues involving excessive force and misconduct.