Newly released surveillance video shows the moment a police officer in Nashville, Tennessee, fatally shot a man in the back as he ran away — leading to questions about the use of deadly force and calls for the police chief’s resignation.
The family of Daniel Hambrick, a 25-year-old black man, held a news conference Wednesday following the video’s release to call attention to perceived racial bias in policing and demand that the officer involved be fired.
“I just want justice for my son,” said Hambrick’s mother, Vickie Hambrick, through tears. “That’s all I’m asking. And for all the young black guys and young women, I want justice for them.”
The surveillance footage, which was released by the Nashville District Attorney and obtained from a nearby school, shows Metro Nashville police Officer Andrew Delke, 25, chasing Hambrick on a sidewalk just after 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) on July 26.
Delke then stops and takes a shooting stance, and Hambrick falls to the ground. The officer then moves toward Hambrick with his weapon still drawn.
There is no audio with the video. Police said Delke fired his gun “several times.”
Hambrick died shortly after he was transported from the scene.
The local Fraternal Order of Police held their own news conference Wednesday to reiterate that the footage doesn’t show the complete picture. President James Smallwood said Hambrick was armed at the time, as police have previously said, and that Delke had to make an “absolutely necessary and reasonable” decision to fire if he believed Hambrick was in a position to shoot him.
“It is our firm belief that Officer Delke acted reasonably under the totality of the circumstances,” Smallwood said.
On the night of the shooting, Metro Nashville police tweeted an image of the pistol that was recovered from the scene.
Police said officers had been looking for stolen vehicles when they spotted a car that was driving in an “erratic pattern.” The driver got away, but the same car was found later at an apartment complex, and as police approached, they said three people got out of the car. One of them was Hambrick.
Why the situation escalated into him giving chase remains under investigation.
Nashville Mayor David Briley on Wednesday said he wants a “comprehensive review” of the shooting as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation examines the case.
He also urged for continued calm amid peaceful protests in the wake of the shooting. Activists and faith leaders have asked for Briley to remove the city’s police chief, Steve Anderson, and renewed demands for a police oversight board.
Acting Vice Mayor Sheri Weiner also released a statementWednesday calling for Anderson to step down and the entire police force to finally get body cameras. Nashville’s Metro Council voted last year to spend $15 million on new bodycams and dashcam videos, but the program remains in a pilot phase.
Delke wasn’t wearing a bodycam and his police car had no dashcam video, The Tennessean reported last month.
“It’s well beyond time those funds be used to purchase the camera units, and associated equipment and implement the program,” Weiner said.
The city has been working with a nonprofit program out of New York University School of Law known as The Policing Project, which aims to strengthen residents’ interaction with police and create more accountability for the department.
In a statement, Anderson acknowledged that The Policing Project has been “beneficial” and he remains committed to reviewing the department’s policing strategies.
Delke, meanwhile, was placed on a routine administrative assignment while the investigation is ongoing and the district attorney reviews the case.
Hambrick’s death is the latest instance of police using deadly force on a black male — and is gaining national attention on the fourth anniversary of the Aug. 9, 2014, fatal shooting of Ferguson, Missouri, teenager Michael Brown.
Joy Kimbrough, the Hambrick family’s attorney, told reporters that Hambrick was no threat to the officer as he ran away — and was left lying on the ground bleeding to death.
“He fell to the ground, where he was cuffed and left, left there like a dog,” Kimbrough said. “Worse than a dog.”