Metro Nashville attorneys settled for $2.25 million with the parents of Daniel Hambrick in their wrongful death lawsuit. That settlement wouldn’t bring closure to the entirety of the ordeal, however. The settlement will not resolve a separate case concerning Andrew Delke, the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) officer who shot Hambrick. Delke still faces a first-degree murder charge.
By offering this settlement, Metro government clarified that neither they or Delke were admitting to any wrongdoing or liability. Metropolitan Director of Law Bob Cooper suggested that this settlement would help offer some closure for the community.
“We think this is a fair resolution for all of the parties,” stated Cooper. “Pursuing this matter through trial and appeal would have been expensive and time consuming with the risk of adverse decision. The community is better served by bringing finality to this case.”
The attorneys for Hambrick’s estate, Joy Kimbrough and Kyle Mothershead, agreed with Cooper’s assessment in a joint statement.
“While money can never make up for the loss of Daniel’s life, we are proud to have delivered some measure of justice for Daniel’s family,” stated the attorneys.
It will have been three years this July since Hambrick was shot and killed while being pursued by police. On the day Hambrick died, Metro Police had received notice of a stolen car. When they came upon it later, Hambrick fled from that suspected stolen vehicle. Delke shot Hambrick in the back three times during the foot pursuit. Police reports stated that Hambrick had refused to drop a firearm – specifically a 9mm Beretta pistol – at the time of his death. A firearm was recovered from the scene where Hambrick’s body fell.
At the time of his death, Hambrick had several pending criminal charges. Some of his prior convictions included felony aggravated robbery, misdemeanor assault, possession or casual exchange of controlled substances, and felon in possession of a firearm.
Hambrick’s death led to the creation of Nashville’s Community Oversight Board (COB), a police accountability group elected by the Metro Nashville City Council. Activists gathered over 8,200 signatures to petition for the COB’s creation.
Petitions with far more signatures have failed to be heeded by Metro government. Over 27,000 signatures weren’t enough to persuade the Davidson County Election Commission to include a taxpayer referendum on a ballot last December: the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, which aimed to roll back Mayor John Cooper’s 34 to 37 percent tax increase. According to previous reporting, Cooper appeared to have pressured the commission into deferring a ruling on the petition and passing it onto the courts for guidance in September. Davidson County Chancery Court judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle ruled against the petition in November.
The city council must still approve the resolution to settle with the Hambrick estate. If approved, MNPD Chief John Drake and Hambrick’s mother will meet in a private setting.
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