Witness: Norfolk police officer wore body camera when he shot mentally ill man

Posted at 5:44 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-13 11:53:58-05

NORFOLK, Va. - In just four days, prosecutors rested their case in the manslaughter trial against Norfolk police officer Michael Edington on Thursday, but not before bringing some interesting testimony before the jury.

According to a sergeant with the police department, Edington was wearing a body camera the night he shot and killed a mentally ill man, David Latham, back in June 2014.

Previous coverage: Opening arguments in trial for Norfolk Police Officer charged with voluntary manslaughter

However, the body camera video only captures the scene after the shooting, and the jury was told Edington’s body camera was not department issued.

The jury also watched Edington’s interview at police headquarters just hours after the shooting, where the Norfolk police officer was "visibly shaken", according to the police sergeant.

Edington told police he was called to the 400-block of 30th Street by dispatchers, after Latham’s family called 911. Latham allegedly threatened his brother with a knife and could not be calmed down.

When Edington and his partner arrived, he told police he found Latham standing outside, on the porch of his home, an eight-inch kitchen blade in his hand, but he refused to drop it.

In his police interview, Edington said was about eight feet from Latham when the mentally ill man took a “small” step forward.

Edington told police that is when fired five rounds at Latham.

The police interview reveals Latham ran inside the home after Edington fired the five rounds, but Edington ran into the home after him.

Edington told police he fired one more round before Latham collapsed on his family’s kitchen floor.

Edington also told police he did not know Latham suffered from mental illness until after the gunfire, however other witness testimony disagrees with this statement.

Police training teaches officers that they can be struck by a blade 21 feet away from a suspect.

Edington – at eight feet away – has always told police he feared for his life, and the safety of those around him. However, prosecutors are trying to emphasize how Edington ran in after Latham, a mentally ill suspect, and fired one more round, after Latham was no longer a threat. .

Defense called a 911 operator to the stand, and will begin tomorrow’s testimony with a Norfolk police officer.

Court is expected to resume at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

Click here for full coverage on this story and the trial