David Latham shooting: Jury finds officer not guilty in Virginia manslaughter trial

The trial of Norfolk, Virginia, police officer Michael Edington Jr. came to a close with a not-guilty verdict Thursday, according to the Associated Press. The white officer stood accused of voluntary manslaughter after shooting and killing a black man David Latham in 2014.

Latham had schizophrenia, according to the Virginian-Pilot. As reported by local station WTKR, he was armed with a knife at the time of his death. According to a wire report on Wednesday, the prosecutors trying the case against Edington Jr. "argued that Latham held the knife at his side without advancing toward Edington." 

Edington Jr. shot Latham repeatedly, and claimed that the 35-year-old victim did make a move. Two officers with Edington Jr. at the time of the shooting denied this.

The officer was indicted in June of 2015; jurors started deliberations on Wednesday. If Edington Jr. had been convicted, according to the wire report, the officer would have faced one to 10 years imprisonment.

Upon hearing the verdict, when asked by local reporters if he wanted to continue working as a member of the police, Edington Jr. said, "Yes."

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Kevin O'Keeffe

Kevin is the arts editor at Mic, writing about inclusion and representation in pop culture. He is based in New York and can be reached at kevin@mic.com.

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