According to NBC News, a recently surfaced surveillance video shows a Nashville police officer fatally shooting a black man in the back several times as he ran away, calling into question the use of deadly force by the police.
Following the video’s release, the family of the deceased, Daniel Hambrick, held a news conference on Wednesday calling for the resignation of the officer involved and addressing racial bias within law enforcement. “I just want justice for my son,” Hambrick’s mother said. “That’s all I’m asking. And for all the young black guys and young women, I want justice for them.”
The surveillance video shows Metro Nashville Police Officer Andrew Delke chasing the deceased down a sidewalk, eventually stopping to shoot Hambrick. After moving closer to Hambrick, who is now on the ground and bleeding, Delke is shown firing his weapon again several times. Hambrick was pronounced dead shortly after an ambulance arrived.
During a separate news conference held by the Fraternal Order of Police on Wednesday, President James Smallwood alleged that Hambrick was armed at the time of the shooting, asserting that Delke’s decision to fire his weapon several times was “absolutely necessary and reasonable.”
Metro Nashville police posted a picture of Hambrick’s weapon on Twitter the night of the shooting.
Fatal police-involved shooting under investigation at 17th Ave N & Jo Johnston Ave. 25-year-old man who carried this gun was shot by MNPD officer. pic.twitter.com/yZrNEUQMQr— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) July 27, 2018
“It is our firm belief,” Smallwood said, “that Officer Delke acted reasonably under the totality of the circumstances.”
According to Nashville police, officers were searching for vehicles that had been reported stolen when they noticed a car on the road driving in an “erratic pattern.” Hambrick was reportedly one of three people who were in the car. It is still unknown, however, how the situation escalated from there.
On Wednesday, Nashville Mayor David Briley announced that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will be conducting a “comprehensive review” of the shooting, urging that any protests remain peaceful and nonviolent.
Acting Vice Mayor Sheri Weiner also issued a statement calling for the resignation of the city’s police chief Steve Anderson and demanding that all police officers be required to wear body cameras. The Nashville Metro Council already voted last year to set aside funds to purchase body and dashboard cameras for the entire police force, but had yet to actually buy and install any of the equipment.
“It’s well beyond time those funds be used to purchase the camera units, and associated equipment and implement the program,” Weiner said.
While the investigation is underway, Delke will remain on desk duty until any formal decisions are made.