UPDATE (Oct. 11, 2017): The City of Norfolk has officially agreed to a $1.5 million settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit by the family of David Latham.
The city issued a statement Tuesday, Oct. 11, on the settlement:
The City reach this settlement following a settlement conference with a federal magistrate judge. In reaching this settlement, the City does not admit to any wrongdoing or liability on its part or on the part of Officer Edington.
While the City had policies in place to prevent incidents of this nature, the City has implemented additional policies and training in the hopes of preventing similar incidents in the future.
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The city of Norfolk is in the process of settling a hefty possible lawsuit for a deadly officer involved shooting in 2014. The Estate of David Latham could get $1.5 million. We’ve covered this case extensively.
The Norfolk officer Michael Edington was found not guilty of manslaughter a year ago. We broke this story, and now have more details on what could happen with the proposed $1.5 million settlement which we are told is in the works, has been proposed to the Latham Estate, and must still be presented to Norfolk City Council.
David Latham’s mother, Audrey, in a story we did in her home in June 2015 said this on how Officer Edington shot her son six times, two of the shots in his back, “It was a senseless killing. No crime was committed,” Ms. Latham told us back then. The family sued, claiming Edington’s police department “recklessly failed” to control an officer who had 11 excessive-force reports in the 14 months before he shot and killed Latham.
Latham was a mentally ill 35-year-old, armed with a knife. Edington said he feared for his life.
Tuesday through Audrey Latham’s family spokesperson there appears to be a proposed settlement, “There was an in principle settlement according to Ms. Latham. That agreement between the city and themselves is to resolve the matter on the case involving the death of their son David,” says Michael Muhammad who is the family spokesperson.
Norfolk’s Mayor is pushing back on where the city is on any agreement, “We have not been briefed on this matter. The council has not approved or disapproved any settlement with the Latham case. After we are briefed on any proposed settlement we will give the City Attorney direction on how to proceed,” says Mayor Kenny Alexander.
To that Muhammad added, “The agreement has been made between the attorneys and the family, the attorneys representing the city and the attorneys representing the family and now the Norfolk City Council has the responsibility to sign off on it.”
Norfolk City Attorney Bernard Pishko told us, “we do not have a settlement. Any settlement is in process, but the City has not agreed to any settlement. We told that to Muhammad, “The settlement agreed upon is in principle and is awaiting city council approval,” he said.
Norfolk City Council is meeting tonight, and there is a closed meeting scheduled to discuss a legal matter. Mayor Alexander says as far as he knows the legal matter is not one dealing with any proposed settlement. However, he also acknowledged it can always be added.