Dan Dan Hambrick Was Shot in the Back

Daniel Hambrick lying in his coffin Saturday at the First Baptist Church in East Nashville.

NASHVILLE, TN – Video released by District Attorney Glenn Funk on Wednesday shows Daniel Hambrick rounding the corner of Henry Hale Blvd onto Jo Johnson Ave. He is running across the front lawns of Henry Hale apartments towards 17th Ave N.

You can see Officer Andrew Delke giving chase. Before Hambrick gets to the corner of Jo Johnson and 17th Ave N. Delke shoots him and Hambrick falls to the ground.

Police and TBI have said he was packing but you can’t tell from the video. However, you can tell Dan Dan Hambrick was not shooting at Delke. He was running away. This is the second killing of a young black man by white Nashville police officers in less than two years.

Jocques Clemmons was shot in the back by Officer Joshua Lippert on Feb 10, 2017 as he was running away after a traffic stop. Lippert was not disciplined. After Clemmons was killed, his family, faith leaders, and community activists called for a Community Oversight Board to monitor cases when police use excessive force.

The city council did not pass a bill that would have established a COB earlier this year. So activists collected 8,000 signatures to put a measure on the November ballot. They were delivered to City Hall last week.

At a press conference Wednesday, Mayor David Briley said he is in favor of establishing a COB. Councilman At Large Councilman Bob Mendes, who also favors creating a COB, said the measure gives a civilian oversight board subpoena powers and he thinks that provision will face opposition, especially from the Fraternal Order of Police.

A 2016 study in the Seton Hall Law Reviews found that nineteen COBs In the nation’s 50 largest police departments have subpoena authority including the two largest, New York and Chicago.  But in Houston and Baltimore COBs do not have the power to compel testimony from police officers. Only six civilian review boards have the authority to discipline police misconduct. Those are: Chicago, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Newark.

The article’s main finding: “Of the nation’s fifty largest police departments, the only review board that has a leadership structure that is not majority nominated by the mayor and that is empowered with subpoena, disciplinary, and policy review authorities, is Detroit’s. Newark’s review board will also have these features once it is built.”

Their conclusion: the devil is in the details when it comes to effective civilian oversight of complaints against police violence or other misconduct. To learn more about how COBs work see: http://tntribune.com/community/tennessee/democracy-looks-like/

At the press conference Briley announced he will personally oversee a new policy review of police training and procedures dealing with the use of deadly force and other police operations. Briley said he has been working with a police reform non-profit called the Policing Project. Their staff has worked with police in Chicago, Los Angeles, Tampa, Cleveland, and Camden to build trust between the police and the communities they serve.

The Policing Project has four working principles: rules and policies must be in place before officials act; rules and policies are transparent and publicly available; the public has input before rules and policies go into effect; the rules and policies must do more good than harm.

However, the Policing Project is vague about holding police departments accountable when they don’t follow their own policies. Advocates for a COB say that is why MNPD needs civilian oversight.

“The Policing Project was brought in by Megan Barry to counter the COB proposal,” said Sekou Franklin of Community Oversight Now. He said not a single African American was involved in soliciting the Policing Project except blacks who worked in the Mayor’s office.

“They wouldn’t do that with any other group. It’s paternalistic and it’s deeply insulting,” Franklin said.  “It is just a way to counter the community oversight proposal that has roots in the black community,” he said.

Briley said he has been talking for some time with Barry Friedman, Policing Project Director.

The Mayor met with Police Chief Steve Anderson Monday who agreed to undertake a comprehensive review of MNPD’s policies and strategies “with an open mind”.

“I appreciate the chief for agreeing to participate in the community process that I will be leading to change our policing culture here in Nashville,“ Briley said.

The TBI is still investigating the Hambrick shooting. Funk’s office is waiting for their report.

 

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