VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from March 2021.
The Virginia Beach Police Department reissued duty holsters for officers after a possible defect was discovered during the investigation of last week's incident at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.
On the afternoon of Oct. 22, an officer tried to take 38-year-old Matthew Christie, who was hospitalized, into custody for the death of his mother, 74-year-old Linda Christie. Christie tried to flee.
When the officer caught up to him in a stairwell at the hospital, a physical struggle between the two began that ended in the accidental discharge of the officer's weapon.
Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate requested an examination of the equipment and circumstances surrounding this incident. It was discovered that the issued holster had a potential defect.
The police department said its newer holsters, a Safariland model, were adopted to accommodate technology used to automatically activate body cameras whenever officers pull a weapon from its holster. It's something the police department implemented earlier this year.
As a result of the possible defect, officers have the holsters used before the new models were issued.
"We are extremely disappointed because we thought we had a reliable solution that automatically activates our cameras, " Deputy Chief Sean Adams said in a news release. "However, reverting to the previously used holster is the best short-term solution to ensure the safety of officers and the public while we work with the vendor on a solution."
In the meantime, all sworn Virginia Beach officers are equipped with body cameras that are manually activated. The police department said it's using in-car camera technology that activates all body cameras within the vicinity.
The police department's current policy required all body cameras to be activated at the time an officer begins responding to a call.