Nashville police defended the white officer seen shooting a fleeing Black man in the back on a video released Wednesday (Aug. 8), as the Black community demanded justice.
James Smallwood, president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, argued Wednesday at a press conference that the video doesn’t “paint a complete image of what occurred that day,” the Tennessean reported.
He underscored the police report that said Daniel Hambrick had a gun when Officer Andrew Delke shot him on July 26, adding that Delke made an “absolutely necessary and reasonable” snap decision.
Meanwhile, after viewing the same video, community members met Wednesday night at the Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church and demanded an immediate shakeup of the police department.
“I think [Police Chief Steve] Anderson needs to resign or the mayor needs to let him go,” the Rev. James Turner II said.
Delke approached the vehicle Hambrick was in, believing that it was the same car he saw earlier that day driving erratically, according to police investigators. Hambrick, 25, and two others fled from the officer.
Surveillance video, released by the prosecutor, shows 25-year-old Delke chasing Hambrick. The officer opens fire on Hambrick, who does not appear to turn toward Delke. After firing multiple times, the officer circles the dying man while continuing to point his weapon at him.
While the police alleged that Hambrick had a gun, the video does not appear to show him carrying a weapon. Hambrick’s family wants the officer charged.
“The police officer fired four times, three of those bullets ripped Daniel apart. He fell to the ground, where he was cuffed and left, left there like a dog. Worse than a dog,” said Jo Kimbrough, attorney for the Hambrick’s family.
“I’m a criminal defense attorney. If there is ever a case of premeditated first degree murder, this is it,” the lawyer continued.