Court releases evidence from Norfolk police officer’s manslaughter trial


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Norfolk Circuit Court officials have released evidence from the manslaughter trial of Norfolk police officer Michael Edington, Jr.

Michael Edington (Norfolk Police Department).
Michael Edington (Norfolk Police Department).

A jury found Edington not guilty Thursday, following an eight-day trial.

Prosecutors had argued Edington was not justified in the shooting death of 35-year-old David Latham, who suffered from mental illness.

The evidence released Friday includes 911 calls family members made from a home on West 30th Street, saying Latham was armed with a knife and threatening his brother.

“He’s swinging a knife at him. Can ya’ll send somebody real fast, please?” his sister can be heard saying on the phone with a dispatcher.

Latham’s mother Audrey also called for help.

“My son has a knife and he’s mentally disturbed. You all got to get somebody out here,” she said.

David Latham (Photo provided by family friend Michael Muhammad)
David Latham (Photo provided by family friend Michael Muhammad)

The evidence also includes communication between a dispatcher and Edington.

Dispatcher: “Also have the mother calling in now, saying that her son is mentally disturbed and has pulled a knife on her other son.”

Edington: “Does he still have the knife or did he just pull it on her earlier?”

Following the shooting, an officer on scene makes a call over the radio:

“Shots fired! Shots fired! We’ve got shots fired, we’ve got shots fired…Suspect is hit. No officers hit. Everybody is good…We’ve got five officers on scene, several hysterical family members left,” he said.

Hear the 911 calls in full below:

Gallery: Crime scene photos of 2014 Norfolk police shooting

WARNING: This slideshow contains very graphic images. Viewer discretion is advised.

Edington said Thursday that he plans to continue serving as a police officer.

“It’s something that I’m passionate about,” he said.

The Norfolk Police Department released a statement Friday, saying Edington would remain on administrative duty until they complete an internal investigation on the shooting:

So as not to interfere or compromise the integrity of the criminal investigation, the administrative review was postponed until all criminal proceedings were resolved.  In accordance with departmental policy and procedure, Officer Michael Edington will remain on administrative duty pending the outcome of the ongoing internal investigation.”

Meanwhile, the family of David Latham is planning to file a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Norfolk and Edington.

Stay with WAVY News for continuing coverage of this developing story.