Family of man killed by Norfolk officer to seek legal action

Print
Email
|

by Nick Ochsner, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 14 at 6:12 AM

NORFOLK -- Attorneys for the family of a Norfolk man who was shot and killed by police last week have notified the city's attorney that the family intends to take legal action.

David Latham was shot and killed by officers in the 400 block of W. 30th St late on the evening of June 6.

The day after her son was killed, David's mother, Audrey Latham, told 13News Now that she called 9-1-1 that night because her son, who was schizophrenic and bipolar, was agitated and acting aggressive.

Audrey Latham said police shot her son after he did not comply with their orders to put down a knife he was holding.

In a letter to the city's attorney this week, Attorney John Cooper said Latham's claim would likely include allegations that officers could have used non-lethal force to get David Latham to comply with their orders.

Cooper's letter also said his firm was investigating the Norfolk Police Department's training and policies for officers involving encounters with the mentally disabled.

In addition to claims related to David Latham's death, Cooper said his mother, Audrey, may have separate claims against police for unlawful detention.

According to Cooper's letter, Audrey Latham was detained by police and taken to a police station, where she was questioned by officers for hours. Because of the questioning, the letter says, Audrey Latham was not able to be with her son at the hospital before he died.

The letter also asked the city to preserve any evidence related to the shooting in the event a lawsuit is filed.

By phone on Friday, Cooper, the Lathams' attorney, said his clients would wait for the police department to finish their internal investigation and Commonwealth Attorney Greg Underwood to review the case for possible criminal charges before filing a lawsuit. That process will likely take several months.
 

Print
Email
|