NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The first Nashville police officer ever charged with homicide in an on-duty shooting reached an unexpected deal with prosecutors — mere days earlier than he was set to go to trial.
Andrew Delke, who resigned from the power Thursday, will serve three years on a cost of voluntary manslaughter. He pleaded guilty Friday throughout a tense and emotional listening to that erupted in outbursts from the sufferer’s mom and household.
Delke, 27, who’s white, shot Daniel Hambrick, a 25-year-old Black man, 3 times in the again as he ran away after a visitors cease on July 26, 2018.
Delke was charged with first-degree homicide in the shooting. Under the phrases of the plea settlement, he’s anticipated to serve three years. Details of any doable early launch or probation weren’t obtainable forward of the courtroom listening to. Voluntary manslaughter is a category C felony in Tennessee.
Hambrick’s mom, Vickie Hambrick, addressed the courtroom and exploded in anger, screaming: “I hate you.”
Her emotional outbursts continued for minutes. She tried to knock over the prosecution’s desk. Delke was faraway from the courtroom and Vickie Hambrick was escorted from the room by supporters and different relations.
Outside the courthouse Friday, protesters gathered, calling for justice for Hambrick.
“They need to know the decisions they are making are not OK with us,” mentioned Jamel Campbell-Hooch, a frontrunner with Gideon’s Army, a native group pushing for police reforms. “Until we get there pressure, pressure, pressure and more pressure… we are not OK with the way they treat Black lives and Black bodies.”
Davidson County Sheriff’s Office deputies watched the group as they stood alongside the perimeter of the courthouse.
Hambrick household urged decide to reject plea deal
Inside, courtroom was referred to as to order simply earlier than 9:30 a.m. At the beginning, Joy Kimbrough, the lawyer for the Hambrick household, stood up and requested the decide to reject the plea.
“On behalf of the family, the attorneys for the family and the general public, we’re asking you as your citizens, citizens of this community, Judge Monte Watkins, that you reject this plea agreement,” Kimbrough mentioned.
The decide began asking Delke questions. It led to an outburst from Hambrick’s mom, who was one of a number of members of the Hambrick household in the courtroom.
“You’re a damn liar,” Vickie Hambrick mentioned from the gallery when the decide requested Delke if he was on any drugs or had any psychological well being points.
He was the primary Nashville police officer to be charged with premeditated homicide for an on-duty shooting, and his final conviction for the death via the plea stays the best penalty handed down in related circumstances.
He has maintained he shot in self protection after he noticed Hambrick holding a gun.
Delke: ‘I’m liable for her loss’
Friday morning, Assistant District Attorney Ronald Dowdy mentioned the “shooting was not reasonably necessary.” Delke echoed these phrases when he addressed the courtroom.
“Mrs. Hambrick lost her son that day and I am responsible for her loss,” Delke mentioned. “I am deeply sorry for the harm my actions caused.”
In an announcement learn on Vickie Hambrick’s behalf, she mentioned she disagreed with the plea deal.
“My son was murdered on video by Nashville police. My son has a right. He has a right to a public jury trial. I want citizens of this community to render a judgment,” Vickie Hambrick mentioned in the assertion.
The assertion continued: “There is not one hour that goes by that I do not think of Daniel. There is a void in me that cannot be filled. Nothing and no one compares to my precious son. I am angry, mad and disgusted but I pray that no other mother have to endure what I’ve endured these last three years.”
Delke fired his service weapon 4 occasions, placing Hambrick twice in the again and as soon as in the again of the top. Investigators discovered a gun close to Hambrick’s physique, however surveillance footage preserved from the scene doesn’t present Hambrick turning or aiming.
While video footage from surveillance cameras captured most of the foot chase via the condominium complicated the place the shooting happened, an important stretch of grass between homes, roughly 36 ft, was lacking from the tape preserved from the scene. It’s unclear if it ever existed. The two males crossed the so-called “void area” in seconds.
It’s there that Delke instructed investigators he noticed Hambrick flip and level the gun.
Delke’s protection lawyer, David Raybin, has argued he was following his coaching to cease what he noticed as a risk to the neighborhood.
Debates over police coaching and coverage
From the start, the case has raised debate about whether or not the prison courtroom system can convey justice to the victims of police shootings. The landmark homicide trial was framed by prosecutors as an opportunity to carry police accountable to the folks and an indictment of coverage and coaching.
Hambrick’s death galvanized the long-simmering effort to create a civilian watchdog group to analyze police misconduct. The Community Oversight Board was authorised by voters in November 2018.
Hambrick’s household sued town in federal courtroom, saying his death illustrated the “culture of fear, violence, racism and impunity” that exists inside the police division. They mentioned officers like Delke had been skilled from their first days to lean on deadly power and to discriminate in opposition to folks of colour.
The metropolis settled the wrongful death lawsuit earlier this yr for $2.25 million.
After all of that, many activists mentioned, the shocking finish to the prison case was underwhelming.
“It feels like they took the easy way out,” mentioned Rasheedat Fetuga, founder of the activist group Gideon’s Army. “I’m disappointed, and I’m disappointed in myself for feeling disappointed because the system is what it is.”
Sameka Hambrick, Daniel Hambrick’s cousin, said the family was devastated by the decision.
Adam Tamburin, Natalie Neysa Alund, Brinley Hineman and Rachel Wegner contributed to this report.
Follow Mariah Timms on Twitter @MariahTimms.