The Tennessee police officer who was recorded on video fatally shooting a man in the back as he ran away was charged Thursday with criminal homicide.
Metropolitan Nashville police Officer Andrew R. Delke, 25, turned himself in after a judge issued an arrest warrant in the fatal shooting of Daniel Hambrick in July. Delke was released on $25,000 bond pending a hearing Oct. 30, and the department decommissioned his police authority, the equivalent of a full suspension from duty.
Under Tennessee law, “criminal homicide” is a general felony that can encompass varying degrees of homicide from vehicular homicide to first-degree murder.
Security video from a nearby school recorded Delke’s chasing Hambrick on foot in north Nashville on the evening of July 26. In the video, Delke, who is white, stops and takes a shooting stance, and Hambrick, also 25, who was black, falls to the ground. Delke then moves toward Hambrick with his weapon still drawn.
An arrest warrant indicates that investigators believe that Delke was looking for a reason to make a traffic stop and that his confrontation with Hambrick came after he misidentified a car as one he had been following earlier.
According to the warrant, Delke was working with a task force looking for stolen vehicles and juvenile offenders when a white Chevrolet Impala conceded the right of way to his service vehicle at a stop sign. Delke considered that suspicious, the warrant says, without explaining why.
When he ran the car’s license plate, Delke discovered that the car hadn’t been stolen, according to the warrant. But he continued to follow it “to see if he could develop a reason to stop the Impala,” according to the warrant.
When the Impala eventually pulled onto an interstate highway, Delke turned on his blue lights, but the car didn’t stop, according to the warrant.
Rather than engage in a full pursuit, Delke turned off his blue lights and continued following the Impala from a distance, eventually losing track of it, the warrant says. He never saw the driver of the car, according to the warrant.
Later, Delke spotted a white four-door sedan in the parking lot of an apartment building and pulled in to investigate.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: NBC News, Alex Johnson