August 9, 2018 314 Views
Surveillance footage of a fatal shooting in Nashville last month appears to show a police officer shooting a man in the back as he ran away.
Daniel Hambrick, 25, was fatally shot by Officer Andrew Delke on July 26, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said.
The surveillance footage released by the Nashville District Attorney’s Office, shows the officer jumping out of his car after pulling into an apartment complex. Hambrick, a black man, runs as Delke, who is white, follows about 20 to 30 feet behind him.
As Hambrick continues running, the officer appears to stop and aim his gun. Hambrick falls to the ground within seconds.
The two videos, which were taken from cameras from a local school and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, do not contain audio.
Hambrick’s death has outraged his family and prompted Nashville Mayor David Briley to call for a “comprehensive review” of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department’s policing strategies.
“I don’t know if there is anything worse that a mother can experience other than losing her child,” the mayor told reporters.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is investigating the matter. CNN has left messages at phone numbers listed for Delke Thursday morning.
Briley said he hasn’t made any judgments on the video. He said even before the shooting he had been working with a non-profit organization called the Policing Project at New York University School of Law to examine how the department polices the community.
“We need more accountability for what happens when our police officers are on the streets, and we need to do more, on the front end, to guide how we police the city and ensure that our officers have the best training possible for defusing tense and challenging situations,” Briley said in a statement.
What the investigators say about the fatal shooting
The incident began when officers with the department’s juvenile task force were looking for stolen vehicles in North Nashville shortly after 7 p.m. two weeks ago. Officers said they saw a car driving in an “erratic pattern” at a location several miles away.
Delke tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver drove away, the TBI said.
A short time later, Delke said he saw the same three men he had seen earlier in the vehicle as he pulled into an apartment complex. By this time the men were out of the car.
According to TBI, Hambrick — who was likely the driver — turned and ran from the officer. Hambrick “appears to have a dark-colored object in his hand,” TBI said. The officer fired several times at Hambrick.
Medics transported Hambrick from the scene, but he died a short time after. Authorities said they recovered a handgun from the scene.
‘I just want justice’
Hambrick’s family, who saw the footage before it was released, and the local NAACP chapter said Hambrick was not a threat because he was running away. They say the officer wasn’t justified in firing his weapon and called for his termination.
Delke, 25, has been placed on administrative assignment, according to the police department. He graduated from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department academy in December 2016.
“I just want justice for my son. That’s all I’m asking,” Hambrick’s mother, Vickie, said in an emotional news conference.
She wore a shirt that said R.I.P with a picture of her son wearing a suit emblazoned on it.
“He was a great child. I kept him in church and I kept him in sports,” she said.
Joy Kimbrough, the family’s attorney, said Hambrick’s mother “took it hard when she saw her only child gunned down.”
She said the officer shot Hambrick in the back of the head.
“The police officer fired four times. Three of those bullets ripped Daniel apart. He fell to the ground, where he was cuffed and … left there like a dog, worse than a dog. He was left there until the ambulance arrived sometime later,” Kimbrough said.
It was not immediately clear if an autopsy had been completed.
Kimbrough said she hoped District Attorney General Glenn Funk’s office would charge the officer.
“If this murderer is not charged, then there’s no hope. No one will ever be charged,” Kimbrough said.
Briley said Funk has not “made any legal judgments” about the officer’s action that day.
Police union: Victim refused order to drop weapon
Delke gave Hambrick “repeated commands” to drop his weapon — which was a 9mm Beretta — Nashville Fraternal Order of Police President James Smallwood said. The officer also told Hambrick he would shoot if Hambrick didn’t drop his weapon, Smallwood said.
But Hambrick “refused to drop the pistol,” the union president said.
“Had he dropped his weapon and just kept running, the conclusion of that incident would be much different than what we are faced with today. I am confident that Mr. Hambrick would be alive,” Smallwood said.
Smallwood also criticized release of the footage — captured by “a low-resolution camera, which produced a grainy video” — before an investigation is complete.
“If anything, today’s video tells us what we already know. That an incident occurred where … officer Delke was forced to fire shots at an armed individual who was a felon,” the union president said.
Both Smallwood and Briley asked for patience with the investigation.
“Getting to the bottom of this is very important. It’s equally important that while we pass time waiting for the investigation to be complete that we be patient, that we reserve acting, that we conduct ourselves as Nashville always does — in a peaceful and orderly way,” Briley said.