Homicide

Attorneys clash over what happened before officer killed man

The manslaughter trial of a white police officer who killed a black man in Virginia will focus largely on the seconds before the shooting.

In Tuesday's opening statements, attorneys offered contrasting views on whether a mentally ill man with a knife posed an imminent threat.

A prosecutor said David Latham stood in a doorway with a butcher knife pointed downward and made no advances toward Norfolk Officer Michael Edington. But a defense attorney said Latham moved the knife around, uttered threats and made a "small movement" with his foot.

Latham suffered from schizophrenia. His family called 911 after he grabbed a knife during an argument over potato chips.

The trial begins amid vocal protests of fatal police shootings of black men in Oklahoma and North Carolina. It's expected to last about two weeks.