Savage: ‘Don’t be fooled by the propaganda, the FOP is desperately trying to protect officer Andrew Delke’

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Officer Andrew Delke listens during his preliminary hearing at the Justice A.A. Birch Building Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. Delke is charged with criminal homicide for the on-duty shooting of Daniel Hambrick. (George Walker IV / AP Pool / The Tennessean)

By NIARA SAVAGE | Nashville Voice

The further the Hambrick case advances towards a conviction for Andrew Delke, the more desperate the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police becomes in its attempt to rescue Delke from the justice he deserves.

Over the past several months, officer Andrew Delke has gone from being the first-ever Metro Nashville Police Officer charged with criminal homicide to the first officer indicted on such charges.

Last Wednesday, Feb. 13, Delke entered a “not guilty” plea during a hearing. The case, involving the shooting death of a 25-year old fleeing Black man Daniel Hambrick by Delke, has reignited tensions regarding police brutality in Nashville and in similar incidents across the nation.

In its latest attempt at making Delke—a murderer—look like an angel, the FOP has launched a digital ad campaign defending Delke, and, once again, positing that Hambrick pointed a loaded gun at the officer.

The Nashville Voice and several other media outlets have repeatedly pointed out the fact that there is no video evidence suggesting that Hambrick ever pointed a weapon at Delke. The defense coincidentally claims that this portion of the video footage was lost.

According to David Harris of the University of Pittsburgh, fraternal organizations sometimes take advantage of the ultra-shareable technology of the recent digital age to influence the outcomes of criminal cases.

“They’re trying to influence public opinion about the case in advance of the trial with the idea of influencing a jury,” Harris said.

Interestingly, David Raybin, the FOP’s apparent and unofficial ally filed a motion earlier this month requesting for murder evidence to be blocked from the case. According to Raybin, sharing evidence from the public could have many “unintended consequences.”

However, the FOP’s ad is more reminiscent of biased political propaganda than the actions of an institution interested in maintaining the integrity of an ongoing case.

It’s obvious that Delke’s defense and the FOP are meticulously filtering what the public does and does not see in regards to the Hambrick case as they hide potentially critical details of the investigation.

In the face of this blatant attempt to manipulate the public, it’s hard not to ask: if Andrew Delke is so innocent, then what does Raybin have to hide?

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