Off-Duty Norfolk Police Officer Kills Man After Argument, Family Alleges Corruption and Cover Up
Photo Credit: Fox News
Written by: Sam Orlando
Norfolk, VA - Attorney Amina Matheny-Willard, on behalf of Kelvin White's family, has called on the Norfolk Police Department to conduct an internal investigation into the actions of off-duty officer Edmund Hoyt, who shot and killed White on January 19, 2020.
On the day of the incident, Hoyt responded to a call from his wife, Jessica Hoyt, who claimed that White had threatened her with a knife. White, who suffered from schizophrenia, was killed by Hoyt in the 2600 block of Bainbridge Boulevard.
"I heard the one shot, 'pow' then I jumped up and it said 'pow, pow, pow, pow' and I was like wow … it was right there," said eyewitness Tameko Holloway.
White's family believes that Hoyt's use of force was excessive, and are calling for the Department of Justice to decertify him as a police officer.
"I saw the caution tape and all of my neighbors standing outside. It kind of made me feel a little uneasy. We don't really see much of that around here," said Andrea Ackley, a resident of Chesapeake.
Hoyt was charged with voluntary manslaughter, a charge that the family believes does not accurately reflect the seriousness of his crime. Hoyt was tried twice; the first trial resulted in a hung jury, while the second found Hoyt not guilty of manslaughter.
"I felt the truth wasn't allowed in the courtroom, so the jury was stuck, not able to move forward in this case. My brother was shot down and murdered by the defendant, and I saw injustice in the courtroom for my brother Kelvin and our family," said Maurice White, Kelvin's brother.
White's family is now calling for a new investigation to be conducted into Hoyt's actions, and are urging the community to come together and demand accountability for the actions of police officers.
"When is it okay for an off-duty officer to murder someone over words? Edmund Hoyt came on the scene to murder Kelvin because of a lie his wife told him. Hoyt came on the scene with his gun announcing he was a law enforcement officer with intentions to kill a man who was not a threat to him," said Bre Lee, Kelvin's cousin.
The family is also concerned about the treatment of Black Americans in the justice system and are calling for widespread reform to address the systemic issues that lead to such tragedies.
"My cousin had a mental illness and was paranoid that someone was out to get him. He enjoyed going for walks and because of his paranoia, he simply wanted to be protected. How does a backpack become a weapon? Our society has been poisoned to the point where ANYTHING a black person does, automatically deems them guilty…even when they are the victim…even when they are the one who ends up dead," said Opal White, Kelvin's cousin.
As the family continues to mourn the loss of Kelvin White, they are committed to seeking justice for his tragic and unnecessary death.
"On January 19, 2020, our family had one of our loved ones stolen from us and we have been engulfed in grief ever since. We are asking for this blood to be accounted for. Our tears run deep; however, we have faith that last night's tears have watered 'seeds of hope' for a better tomorrow. Lois McMaster Bujold once said 'The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them,'" said Evette White, Kelvin's cousin.
Matheny-Willard, counsel for the family, is no stranger to fighting police misconduct and abuse. Matheny-Willard vowed to get justice for the White family, and said she is prepared to bring these matters before a civil jury if necessary.