Took a Step Without Moving His Feet - Only White Prosecutors Would Believe Bullshit Like That. From [HERE] City leaders on Tuesday agreed to pay $1.5 million – one of Norfolk’s largest payouts ever – because a white police officer shot and killed a knife-wielding, mentally ill Black man to death three years ago.
Audrey and Glennis Latham had sued Officer Michael Edington Jr. for $25 million after the three-year veteran shot their 35-year-old son, David Latham, on the front porch of their Park Place house. The case was scheduled to go to trial next month.
“No amount of money can bring David back, but the family was determined to make the city ... say that David’s life mattered,” family spokesman Michael Muhammad said in a text.
“Now the family wants to know why Michael Edington Jr. is still employed as a Norfolk police officer,” Muhammad added.
After the trial, Edington said he wanted to keep working as a Norfolk police officer. He's still on administrative duty, assigned to the department's central records division, NPD spokeswoman Cpl. Melinda Wray said.
In settling, Edington didn’t admit to doing anything wrong, and neither did the city
Edington was acquitted of criminal charges after a trial last year, but the family claimed the Police Department “recklessly failed” to control an officer who had 11 excessive-force reports in the 14 months before he shot and killed Latham.
Last month, the city settled a claim similar to the Lathams': A $2.5 million suit against a Norfolk officer who, two days before Latham died, shot and killed Lawrence Faine, a 72-year-old mentally ill man armed with a knife.
Faine’s family settled for $90,000.
On June 6, 2014, after 911 calls reporting someone swinging a knife at relatives, Edington and two other officers came to the Lathams' house.
Police repeatedly yelled at Latham to drop the weapon. Officer Dennis Conley testified he heard Latham say, “I’m not going to drop this, so do what you’ve got to do.”
Conley and Officer Matthew Reichert testified they never saw Latham take a step, raise the knife or threaten anyone.
Edington testified he saw Latham take a small “sidestep,” which the officer took as a cue that Latham was about to charge. [ah, the sidestep nigger killer move] Edington fired five times, then followed as Latham ran into the house. The officer fired once more inside, saying later he was concerned Latham could hurt someone if he got out of sight.
“No one ever spoke about this side step, the officer never spoke about the step, the investigator, never. Any notes… it was never in any recorded statement,” Babineau said. “But at trial, he testified there was this step he believed was the act then he reacted thinking David was going, in his words, lunge at him, and that’s why he took the action he did.”
In closing arguments, Underwood denied that Latham took the step. He showed a video of a police interview in which Edington demonstrated Latham’s actions, but did not move his feet.
“The step didn’t happen,” Underwood said. He argued that the investigator who questioned Edington at the Police Operations Center following the shooting asked leading questions and was “spoon feeding” the defendant. [MORE]
Police later found the knife on the front porch.
Edington’s lawyer, Brian Casey, said the reports the family's lawsuit mentions don’t describe excessive force, although he wouldn’t talk about what was in them. He said no citizen ever complained about Edington using too much force.
The suit also argued that the city is responsible for violating Latham’s civil rights because Norfolk police didn’t adequately train officers to deal with mentally ill people. The city didn’t form a crisis intervention team until the week after Latham died, the lawsuit said.
Latham had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Relatives testified he had stopped taking his medication, was hearing voices and wasn’t eating or sleeping. His former psychiatrist told jurors he thought Latham was going through a psychotic episode the day he was killed.