The mom of a Black man who was fatally shot whereas he was operating away from a white Nashville police officer begged a decide on Friday to not settle for a plea deal that might ship the previous officer to jail for under three years.
The mom, Vickie Hambrick, cried and screamed as she pounded and knocked over a courtroom lectern, saying she had not been consulted earlier than prosecutors agreed to permit the previous officer, Andrew Delke, to plead responsible to voluntary manslaughter for taking pictures her son, Daniel Hambrick, 25, within the again on July 26, 2018.
Mr. Delke, 27, had been dealing with trial this month on a first-degree homicide cost that would have resulted in a life sentence.
“I can’t believe this, Judge, I can’t believe this,” Ms. Hambrick mentioned in Nashville felony court docket. “What if it was your child instead of my child? It would have been a different story.”
Ms. Hambrick, who’s legally blind, was held again by her lawyer and others as she knocked over the lectern and lunged in Mr. Delke’s course, knocking over a pc monitor and briefly disrupting the listening to. Ms. Hambrick and her family mentioned that they had needed the case to go to trial on the homicide cost.
“We didn’t get a chance!” a person sporting a “Hambrick Strong” shirt declared as Ms. Hambrick, her members of the family and others had been led out of the courtroom. “Three years!”
Andrew Delke, left, in court docket on Friday with David Raybin, one of his legal professionals.Credit…Pool photograph by Josie Norris
When the listening to reconvened, the decide, Monte D. Watkins, accepted the deal, discovering that Mr. Delke had freely agreed to plead responsible to manslaughter. He sentenced Mr. Delke to 3 years in jail.
Mr. Delke’s legal professionals mentioned that with normal jail credit, Mr. Delke would serve a few yr and a half in jail and would then be allowed to return residence with out probation or parole.
Glenn R. Funk, the Nashville district legal professional, defended the deal after the listening to, saying he was involved that a jury may not have convicted Mr. Delke had the case gone to trial. He famous that Mr. Hambrick was holding a gun when he was shot.
“Members of my office on the trial team acknowledged that there was a well over 50 percent chance that this jury would hang,” Mr. Funk mentioned after the listening to, including that he had been warned that a jury might have break up alongside racial strains. “And no verdict, no judgment, no accountability — the emotion that we saw in this courtroom today would have been played out 100-fold, if there had been no accountability in this case.”
Before Mr. Delke’s responsible plea, a Nashville police officer had by no means been convicted within the on-duty taking pictures of a Black man, Mr. Funk mentioned.
“Well, now there has been,” Mr. Funk mentioned. “He’s been convicted. He’s a convicted felon, a convicted felon for the rest of his life.”
Mr. Delke, who resigned from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on Thursday, had been serving on a juvenile crime activity drive and was assigned to search for stolen automobiles and recognized juvenile offenders on the day he shot Mr. Hambrick, prosecutors mentioned.
While patrolling in North Nashville, Mr. Delke started to comply with a white Chevrolet Impala that had stopped at a cease signal. After operating the Impala’s license plate and studying that the automotive was not stolen, Mr. Delke continued to comply with the automotive and turned on his blue lights, prosecutors mentioned. During the pursuit, he misplaced observe of the Impala and by no means noticed the motive force or anybody contained in the automotive, prosecutors mentioned.
ImageVickie Hambrick, whose lawyer mentioned she is legally blind, mentioned in her assertion, “My son was my eyes.”Credit…Pool photograph by Josie Norris
Later, Mr. Delke pulled into the car parking zone after seeing a distinct white automotive drive into the lot, prosecutors mentioned. Several folks had been within the space, and one of them, Mr. Hambrick, started to run, prosecutors mentioned. Mr. Delke instantly started to run after Mr. Hambrick, yelling at him to cease.
During the chase, Mr. Delke noticed that Mr. Hambrick had a gun in his hand and yelled at him to “stop,” “drop the gun” and “drop the gun or I’ll shoot,” prosecutors mentioned.
When Mr. Hambrick continued to run and didn’t drop the gun, Mr. Delke stopped, aimed his gun at Mr. Hambrick and fired 4 photographs from about 51 ft away, prosecutors mentioned. One shot struck Mr. Hambrick within the again, one other hit him within the torso and a 3rd hit him within the head. The fourth shot missed, prosecutors mentioned.
A medical expert decided that Mr. Hambrick had died of a number of gunshot wounds and that the style of demise was murder, prosecutors mentioned. The episode was captured on surveillance video.
In court docket, Mr. Delke mentioned he was pleading responsible as a result of he acknowledged that his use of lethal drive “was not reasonably necessary under all circumstances.”
“I recognize that what happened on July 26, 2018, was tragic,” he mentioned. “Ms. Hambrick lost her son that day, and I am responsible for her loss. These are facts that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.”
He added that “not a day has gone by that I have not thought about my actions.”
“I am deeply sorry for the harm my actions caused,” Mr. Delke mentioned, “and I hope that Mr. Hambrick’s family will obtain some comfort from my acceptance of responsibility, and my guilty plea today.”
After Mr. Delke spoke, Ms. Hambrick cursed at him, advised him she didn’t settle for his apology and screamed, “I hate you.”
Joy Kimbrough, Ms. Hambrick’s lawyer, mentioned her shopper had realized of the plea settlement from Mr. Funk solely this week and was shocked that prosecutors had agreed to the deal.
“I am against the way the state and the defense joined hands to protect this racist, biased, anti-Black criminal system,” Ms. Hambrick mentioned in a press release that Ms. Kimbrough learn aloud in court docket.
In 2019, Mr. Hambrick’s household sued Mr. Delke and town, contending that the taking pictures was motivated partially by a tradition of “fear, violence, racism, and impunity” within the Police Department. The lawsuit sought $30 million in punitive damages. In March, Nashville officers agreed to settle the lawsuit for $2.25 million.
In the assertion Ms. Kimbrough learn in court docket on Friday, Ms. Hambrick described her son because the “love of my life.” She mentioned he had acknowledged from an early age that his mom was blind and had all the time mentioned that he would take care of her.
“My son was my eyes,” Ms. Hambrick’s assertion mentioned. “There is not one hour that goes by that I do not think of Daniel.”