A white Nashville police officer has been charged with fatally shooting a Black man as he ran away during a foot chase – the first time a Metro Nashville police officer has ever been charged with criminal homicide, according to News Channel 5.
Officer Andrew Delke, 25, was charged with criminal homicide after shooting Daniel Hambrick, 25, twice in the back and once in the back of the head as Hambrick fled on July 26th, according to The Daily Mail.
On Thursday, a magistrate judge decided that there was not enough evidence to charge Delke in the case, however, General Sessions Judge Michael Mondelli reversed that decision, finding probable cause before signing off on the charges, according to the Tennessean.
David Raybin, Delke’s attorney, said his client did nothing wrong.
“Officer Delke gave Hambrick repeated verbal commands to stop, stop, drop the weapon or I will fire,” Raybin said during a press conference. “Officer Delke was protecting himself, his backup officers who were on the way, and the public.”
“The police department rules and regulations require an officer to act, even when there’s personal risk,” Raybin added, according to News Channel 5. “Officer Delke was following the law and his training.”
The District Attorney’s office released this statement on Thursday:
“This morning I requested TBI Special Agent in Charge Russ Winkler to obtain a warrant charging officer Andrew Delke with criminal homicide. The decision to institute charges by warrant as opposed to presenting the matter directly to a Grand Jury allows this case to be presented in open court in as transparent a manner as possible, because Grand Jury proceedings are secret and not open to the public. As this is a pending criminal case, I will have no further extrajudicial comments.”
According to news accounts, Hambrick was pulled over on the corner of Jo Johnston Avenue and 17th Avenue North. Delke had reportedly been following a suspicious Impala, but he had lost track of it and reportedly mistook a vehicle that Hambrick was near as the one that was a part of his search. Authorities say Hambrick then began to run.
Delke surrendered to authorities on Thursday.