By vote of the governing board of Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), a coalition of 61 congregations, labor unions, and other community organizations, NOAH hereby issues the following formal resolution in connection with the July 26, 2018 Metro Nashville Police Department officer-involved homicide of Mr. Daniel Hambrick.
NOAH is saddened and deeply concerned by the death of Daniel Hambrick, another young black man shot to death by a Metropolitan Police officer. Based on the surveillance video released by District Attorney Glenn Funk, it appears that Officer Andrew Delke shot Mr. Hambrick in the back while Mr. Hambrick was running away. It does not appear that Mr. Hambrick was twisting, turning around, or doing anything else that would have given Officer Delke reason to fear that Mr. Hambrick was about to start shooting at him. NOAH urges the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conduct a timely and thorough investigation in order to gather all the facts in connection with this incident. While the investigation is pending, NOAH expects the Metropolitan Police Department will not tweet or publicize information which is intended to sway public opinion about the incident or Mr. Hambrick. In addition, in light of the evidence that has been released NOAH does not believe that it is appropriate for Metro to continue paying Officer Delke’s salary while this investigation is conducted.
NOAH is very concerned about the failure of Metro Government and the Metro Nashville Police Department to equip the police force with body and dash cameras prior to this incident. At a NOAH Public Meeting in October 2016, former-Mayor Megan Barry committed to body cameras for police officers. The 2017 Metro Budget included funds for the purchase of this equipment. However, due to continuing delays in the selection, purchase and distribution of this equipment, today almost no MNPD officers are equipped with cameras. Had cameras been deployed to Officer Delke, there would have been more evidence available to the TBI and the public regarding the death of Mr. Hambrick.
In addition, NOAH remains concerned that MNPD’s current internal disciplinary system, in which MNPD polices itself, is inadequate to address citizen claims of officer misconduct. NOAH believes that creation of a robust, citizen-led Community Oversight Board is necessary in order to ensure fair, unbiased investigations of alleged police misconduct.
Finally, NOAH finds that MNPD Chief Steve Anderson has fundamentally failed the community in the execution of his duties in the following ways:
1. In October 2016, Gideon’s Army released the Driving While Black report showing that under Chief Anderson’s leadership, black drivers were being subjected to roadside searches at more than three times the rate of white drivers even though a lower proportion of these searches resulted in the discovery of incriminating evidence.
2. Chief Anderson’s response to the Driving While Black report was to claim that the authors were “morally disingenuous,” and to justify MNPD’s practices based on the tiny percentage of African-Americans who commit serious crimes.