While the New Year represents a fresh start and new horizons for most Americans, for the mother of Daniel Hambrick, this January marks a year-and-a half since her son was stolen from her. Twenty-five-year-old Daniel Hambrick was executed by police in July of 2018, and as we enter an entirely new decade, his family still waits for justice.
A year ago, Andrew Delke became the first Metro Nashville Police Officer to be charged and indicted on a first degree murder charge. Since then, Delke’s defense attorneys have scrambled to excuse and defend the indefensible. In a futile attempt to get Delke off the hook for his crimes, his attorneys attempted to block murder case evidence from the public, and accused Hambrick–the victim– of being a danger to others. Most recently, Delke’s defense attorneys requested a change of venue that would allow a jury from outside the Nashville-area to come to a verdict. The defense believes extensive media coverage of the shooting likely tainted the jury pool. In late November Judge Monte Watkins denied the request, blocking the defenses’ efforts to relieve former Officer Delke of his accountability to the people of Nashville.
None of these efforts can conceal the truth about Delke’s crimes. In fact, video footage of the shooting has preserved the final seconds of Daniel Hambrick’s life for the world to see. As Daniel literally ran for his life, Andrew Delke pulled out his gun and fired three shots, striking him three times–twice in the back and once in the back of the head.
Despite the brutality of Hambrick’s death, the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has relentlessly defended former officer Delke, going so far as launching a digital campaign and paying for Facebook ads to spew falsehoods about the deadly incident. The FOP also unveiled a billboard intended to villainize the District Attorney. Even though Daniel Hambrick was retreating at the time he was struck by the three bullets, FOP president James Smallwood contends that the way Hambrick “looked over his shoulder,” was enough to warrant the use of deadly force.
Nashville’s District Attorney Glenn Funk felt Delke’s defense team’s justification of Hambrick’s death has been so outrageous, he compared it to the defense of Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg trials. The Hambrick family is not any less outraged by the defense of Delke’s actions, and has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that officers resort to lethal force too quickly. The family is seeking 30 million dollars in damages.
Andrew Delke — who pleaded not guilty to the murder charge–is set to go to trial on March 16th.
Video of the shooting of Hambrick courtesy of The Tennessean YouTube page: