Daytona Beach Police release body cam footage of armed suspect shot after pointing rifle at officers

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Daytona Beach, Florida – A stand-off between police and an armed suspect in Daytona Beach resulted in officers firing at the suspect, taking him down.

Police recently revealed the body cam footage of the incident, and police sources say that the suspect is expected to recover from the shooting.

The incident was said to have taken place on May 25th at approximately 8:10 a.m. near the intersection of International Speedway Boulevard and Ridgewood Avenue.

According to Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri, the incident began as a report of an attempted car jacking of a woman. An employee of a nearby Popeye’s chicken was waiting for her shift to begin, when a male suspect tried to steal her vehicle.

It was reported that she was able to get away safely and contact police regarding the suspect. 

When responding units had arrived at the scene, they’d seen the alleged carjacking suspect walking around with a rifle in hand. The body cam footage shows one of the responding officers directing the suspect to drop the weapon.

The suspect allegedly disregarded said orders from police, and two of the responding units opened fire on the suspect after he’d allegedly pointed the rifle at one of the officers. Chief Capri likened the scenario to that of one solely created and escalated by the suspect:

“He dictated this, he caused this, and we have to protect ourselves and do what we (have) to do to survive.”

While Chief Capri noted that it was unfortunate that someone had to be shot during the police interaction, he explained that someone cannot take aim at officers and not expect some form of response akin to what took place:

“When you point a gun at officers, expect to get shot.”

Police still aren’t releasing the name of the suspect involved at this time, only noting that he was transferred to a nearby hospital and was undergoing surgery. It was stated that the suspect is expected to make a full recovery.

Chief Capri was overall pleased with the manner his officers responded to the situation, as things could have gone horribly worse for the officers involved:

“I’m very proud of my officers, the way they acted today. They were very professional. They did their jobs.”

The two officers who fired their weapons at the suspect were both placed on paid administrative leave, as that’s standard protocol for an officer involved shooting. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be handling the investigation moving forward as well, since police did shoot a suspect in the case.

You can watch the body cam footage from both officers’ perspective below. Be warned, as there is graphic content.

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Whenever body cam footage related to officer involved shootings is released to the public, there’s always going to be a portion of the internet that is outraged no matter what they see on the video. Take for example this recently released body cam footage coming from Maryland. 

Officials within the Montgomery County Department of Police in Maryland have released body cam footage from a May 7th officer involved shooting that left the suspect dead.

The department identified the officer involved in the shooting as Sgt. David Cohen, a 17-year veteran from the MCP. Authorities also identified the deceased suspect as 30-year-old Finan Berhe.

In the video, from the perspective of Sgt. Cohen, you can see the officer exits his cruiser and the suspect in the distance.

The initial portion of the interaction is without audio because the body worn camera was activated after he exited his cruiser. The system automatically retrieves the 30 seconds prior to the officer activating the camera, but without audio.

Berhe can be seen initially charging toward the officer, but then halts and starts to back away while still facing Sgt. Cohen.

When the audio kicks in during the video, you can hear the officer administering commands for the suspect to drop the weapon in his hand:

“Put the knife down!”

The suspect can be seen walking back further and further from the officer, until settling himself while still facing toward Sgt. Cohen.

With Berhe having created a healthy distance between himself and the officer, while still in possession of the weapon, Sgt. Cohen delivers another request for compliance:

“Get on the ground! I don’t want to shoot you!”

Suddenly, after those words are said, Berhe begins sprinting toward the officer, still with knife in hand.

Sgt. Cohen responds in a series of shots toward the suspect’s chest. Reports indicate that Berhe died while at the hospital.

Even though the incident transpired in Montgomery County, the investigation and its findings will be forwarded over to the Howard County’s State’s Attorney’s Office. This is due to an existing agreement between the two counties that whenever there’s an officer involved shooting within their respective jurisdiction, they willingly hand the findings of the investigation to the other county’s State’s Attorney’s Office.

The MCP released the following statement about that aspect of investigation:

“This incident in its entirety remains under investigation by the Major Crimes Division.  Following an established procedure, once Major Crimes detectives complete their investigation of the officer-involved shooting, the findings will be submitted to the Howard County’s State’s Attorney’s Office for review.”

As for Sgt. Cohen, who currently works within the department’s Patrol Services Bureau among the MCP’s 3rd District, he’s been placed on paid administrative leave during the course of the investigation, as is standard practice for any officer involved shooting.

Now, with as transparent as this investigation can possibly be, with police releasing the body cam footage the day after the shooting transpired and showcasing the suspect charging twice while armed, people online are still claiming the officer was in the wrong.

Some online are saying that the officer could have subdued the suspect with a taser instead of firing his weapon when the suspect charged at him.

One post on Twitter stated the following about the released footage:

“So is the police trained to shoot to kill and not shoot to subdue??? RIP Finan Berhe #MentalHealthIsReal”

The notion of mental health was also brought up by a group dubbed as the Silver Spring Justice Coalition, which claims that the officer could have used better tactics to diffuse the situation: 

“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.”

However, outside of speculation by individuals online, there hasn’t been much information released to date that implies issues related to the mental health of the deceased suspect. 

Another post on Twitter used the infamous play on the word “America” by intentionally spelling it with a “kkk,” which is typically meant to convey one’s belief that America is inherently a racist country:

“Clockworkkk amerikkka… Montgomery County Police say Sgt. David Cohen shot and killed 30-year-old Finan H. Berhe on Thursday after Berhe lunged at the officer with a knife.”

The reaction online demonstrates that no matter how well documented and transparent a use of force case involving police is that seems to show what could be described as a justified shoot, there are always going to be critics that claim it to be an injustice.

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