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Maryland police release dramatic bodycam footage of fatal shooting: ‘I don’t want to shoot you!’

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Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, have released bodycam footage of an officer shooting a black man armed with a knife who charged him instead of following commands to get on the ground.

The shooting occurred in White Oak, just outside Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

The officer who fired the fatal shots was identified Friday as Montgomery County Police Sgt. David Cohen. The department released the footage the same day.

**Warning: Viewer discretion is advised**

With his sidearm drawn, Cohen can be heard yelling, “Put the knife down!” as the man rushes towards him and then stops and backs away.

“Get on the ground! I don’t want to shoot you!” Cohen then shouts just ahead of the man rushing him a second time. At that, five shots can be heard as bullets strike the man in the chest.

As the shots rang out, Berhe can be seen tumbling to the ground and dropping the knife.

“Man down!” a voice can be heard immediately afterward. No officers were injured in the incident, and it’s not known what motivated the man’s actions.

Later, police identified the man as 30-year-old Finan Berhe of White Oak. Cops conducting the after-action investigation noted that Berhe was brandishing a knife that was later recovered at the scene.

Reports noted that one of Berhe’s neighbors called 911 to report that Berhe had thrown a rock at his window and told him “to call the police.”

Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told reporters that Cohen tried to administer first aid to Berhe at the scene. Berhe died at the hospital.

“It’s a tragic situation — tragic and unfortunate,” Jones said, the Washington Post noted.

“The subject rushed at the officer. The officer retreated a little bit. The subject then began to walk backwards,” Jones said. “The officer again repeated to the individual several times to get on the ground and to drop the knife.”

Jones added that there is also an eyewitness video of the incident, but the department has yet to release it and it’s not clear that it will be released.

Fox News noted that prosecutors from neighboring Howard County will review the incident as part of a standing agreement to look into each others’ officer-involved shootings.

Cohen was placed on administrative leave following the shooting, which is standard procedure for most departments. He’s been with the department for 17 years.

Howard County prosecutors are also looking into another fatal police shooting involving a Montgomery County officer, ABC News reported.

The department has said that 21-year-old Duncan Socrates Lemp was shot and killed by police at his home on March 12.

Police officials said that Lemp was armed with a rifle and that he, too, ignored commands to show his hands and obey other commands.

An attorney for the family said an eyewitness claims Lemp was asleep in his bedroom when officers opened fire from outside his Potomac, Md. home.

Though the department immediately released bodycam footage of the shooting involving Berhe, it hasn’t released any bodycam footage of Lemp’s shooting.

Family attorney Rene Sandler also said that the department has not acknowledged whether there is bodycam footage of the incident involving Lemp.

Jon Dougherty

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