WTN radio’s Dan Mandis tried to hold a reasoned debate with the attorney representing the family of a man who was shot and killed by Metro Nashville Police last month.
Mandis hosted attorney Joy Kimbrough on his Super Talk 99.7 program Monday. The audio is available here. Kimbrough represents the family of Daniel Hambrick.
Video shows Metro Officer Andrew Delke shooting and killing Hambrick as he was running away on July 26, News Channel 5 said.
The video is available here on the Nashville Scene.
The surveillance video obtained from nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School shows the shooting near the intersection of 17th Avenue North and Jo Johnston Avenue on the evening of July 26, the Scene said.
Hambrick had several pending serious criminal charges at the time he was shot, Fox 17 News said. His prior convictions include felony aggravated robbery, misdemeanor assault, possession or casual exchange, felon in possession of a weapon, drugs in a drug-free school zone, resisting arrest and more.Daniel Hambrick Arrest History
On the rap sheet, the following initials mean:
- DROS- Dismissed request of the state
- GLC-Guilty of Lesser Charge
- DIS- Dismissed
Mayor David Briley last week promised a review of the department’s policing strategies, the Nashville Post said.
A coalition submitted a petition for a referendum in November that will decide whether there will be civilian oversight of the police, the Scene said.
On Monday, Kimbrough used what host Mandis called “inflammatory language” repeatedly even as he said he wanted to give her and the victim’s family a forum free of inflammatory language.
Speaking about members proposed for the community oversight board (COB), she denied Black Lives Matter has called for the murder of police officers. She said her only exposure to BLM has been through local members.
“I’ve never heard them utter any such statement,” she said.
“The police … policing their own is almost laughable,” she said. It is rare for an officer to be found at fault in a shooting. “We can’t take them seriously if they are biased like that.
“There are certain segments of society that are falling victim to police shootings and police misconduct and they should definitely have a say in who polices the police.”
Mandis challenged Kimbrough for her repeated use of the word “execution” in describing the shooting and reminded her, a lawyer, it is a legal word. He defined execution as the state-sanctioned killing of someone like Billy Ray Irick, who was executed by lethal injection recently. Hambrick was running from police with a gun, he said.
“Do you think using language like this which I would say is inflammatory will help the situation or make it worse,” he asked.
Kimbrough said, “Well, what I do is speak truth, and I don’t know what it will do to the situation, but I will remain truthful and say what I feel is honest.”
Kimbrough said she was “not in a position to say he had a gun in his hand or not.” Even if he had a gun, it was wrong of Delke to chase and shoot him. She does not know why Hambrick or the officer ran. It did not matter to her if police eventually prove Hambrick was running with the gun.
“I call it murder, I call it an execution,” she said.
Mandis asked about the risk of Hambrick firing over his back. She said that is speculation and it was equally likely he would have turned around to hug and kiss Delke.
James Smallwood, president of the Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 5 Fraternal Order of Police released this statement:
This morning, the Fraternal Order of Police learned that there was additional video evidence regarding the shooting incident between Officer Delke and Mr. Daniel Hambrick. To be clear, we would have preferred that the entire investigation of this case be released at one time, rather than in a piecemealed manner, and with an explanation and full presentation of the facts. Instead, the video has been released before the TBI has completed its investigation and the District Attorney General has completed his prosecutorial functions.
To release it without any narrative or context causes confusion in the community, the potential for further division between law enforcement and the people we serve and invites people to draw their own conclusions of the incident without the relevant facts. It is the opinion of the Fraternal Order of Police that releasing the video in this manner does not serve the better interests of anyone involved or the community at large.
The video released earlier today was captured by a low-resolution camera, which produced a grainy video, and in no way paints an accurate and complete image of what occurred on that day. Unfortunately, the extent to which we tend to rely on what we see on TV or in the movies makes it difficult to evaluate an officer’s real-life use of force. Many people believe that any video is an accurate report of what really happened. In this case, the low-resolution surveillance camera was located on a different block, elevated, and quite a distance away from the actual incident.
As a result, the video from that camera is limited in its ability to tell the full story; this is especially true because the accompanying facts from a completed investigation could not be included. By way of comparison, consider the number of high-resolution cameras and myriad camera angles that are deployed to overturn or confirm on-field rulings made by professional sports umpires or referees. In these situations, the perception of a viewer is often changed when the full picture is presented from many different angles and the investigation can provide facts to support the actual events; obviously, this is not what we have experienced with today’s release.
If anything, today’s video only tells us only what we already know: That an incident occurred wherein Officer Delke was forced to fire shots at an armed felon. Although not apparent from the video, or the current coverage of the incident, it is factually undisputed that (1) Mr. Hambrick was armed with a 9mm Beretta pistol which was in his hand at the time of the shooting; (2) Officer Delke gave Mr. Hambrick repeated commands to drop the pistol; (3) Officer Delke told Mr. Hambrick that he would fire on him if he did not drop the pistol; and, (4) most important, Mr. Hambrick refused to drop the pistol. 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.
In today’s environment, police officers are commonly expected to exceed the limits of human performance. It is well known that an armed suspect facing away from an officer can fire at the officer by twisting his body around, reaching across his body and firing over his shoulder or under his arm, or simply by swinging his arm straight backwards and firing the weapon upside down. All of these actions can take place in the blink of an eye, and no human being on earth can react in time to prevent themselves from being shot.
A police officer who finds themselves similarly situated and gives appropriate and reasonable commands to drop the weapon should reasonably believe that their life is in danger. The reaction of any officer placed in that situation should be to do what is necessary and reasonable to protect their life and the lives of the community at large. It is our firm belief that Officer Delke acted reasonably under the totality of the circumstances, within the confines of the law, and departmental policies. We are confident that the independent investigation conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will reflect that and totally exonerate him.
Furthermore, after the release of the video, Nashville Mayor, David Briley, held a press conference in which he stated that no Mother should ever have to bury their child. The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police wholeheartedly agrees with that opinion. The pain of such an event is unimaginable. Regardless of the circumstances, we offer our condolences to the Hambrick family as they navigate this tragic event.
We must also remember that officer Delke has been forced to live his worst nightmare. No officer ever wakes up and wishes to take the life of another human being. When it occurs, it is something that haunts them for the rest of their lives.
Mayor Briley went on to say that our police should only be required to make a snap decision to discharge their weapons when absolutely necessary. We believe that anytime an individual places a firearm in their hand in an encounter with the police that it becomes absolutely necessary to make that snap decision.
We do not believe that the decision making on the part of the officer is to blame. The snap decision officer Delke was forced to make was not of his own doing. He was reacting to a suspect who produced a firearm in a confrontation with the police. From our perspective, his reaction was absolutely reasonable and necessary given the circumstances.
Any insinuation that Police officers need more accountability as a result of this incident completely ignores the actions of Mr. Hambrick and his refusal to comply with lawful orders from a police officer.
In conclusion, we ask the community to wait patiently as the TBI conducts their investigation and that before any conclusions are drawn, we wait until all of the facts can be presented.