Acting Vice Mayor Sheri Weiner has called on Police Chief Steve Anderson to step down in light of last month's deadly officer-involved shooting.
Weiner said in a statement released Wednesday that she has "come to the thoughtful conclusion that we must seriously consider the need for new leadership at MNPD."
"Our police officers are hardworking, professional and heroic, and I am grateful every second of every day for the work they do for all of us, but we must all recognize the fear many in our community feel, and we must take immediate concrete steps to address this fear," Weiner said.
The NAACP and the family of the victim, Daniel Hambrick, held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon after viewing the newly released video of the deadly shooting.
"If I'm running away ... how can I be a threat to you? He was shot down like a dog," said one of Hambrick's supporters.
The Fraternal Order of Police said in a news conference on Wednesday that Officer Andrew Delke was justified in shooting Hambrick.
"It is our firm belief that Officer Delke acted reasonably under the totality of the circumstances," said FOP President James Smallwood.
The Metropolitan Minority Caucus said in a statement released Wednesday night that Hambrick was no threat to Delke.
"The Nashville Davidson County Minority Caucus finds the homicide of Daniel Hambrick very disturbing," said the caucus in the statement. "The Minority Caucus demands that Officer Delke be placed on unpaid leave and have his gun and badge removed until the TBI completes its investigation."
During a press conference on Wednesday, Mayor David Briley announced the institution of a policy to make sure Nashville is fighting crime effectively.
Briley made the announcement after District Attorney General Glenn Funk released an additional video obtained from Martin Luther King Magnet School after the July 26 shooting death of Hambrick.
“It was important for General Funk to release this video for transparency in this investigation,” said Briley in a release prior to his press conference. “This was a tragic event, and my prayers are with Mr. Hambrick’s mother and the rest of his family. I don’t know if there can be anything worse than losing your child.”
Briley said there were several videos of the shooting.
Funk said in a statement on Wednesday the video released "will no longer compromise the integrity of the investigation." Funk's office expects the investigation into the shooting to be completed in the next two weeks.
Briley said he would be meeting with community leaders on Wednesday to discuss the video.
Following the deadly shooting, Briley has met with Anderson and community leaders to discuss a comprehensive review of the police department's policing strategies.
"No mother should ever have to bury her 25-year-old child, and our police should only be required to make a snap decision to discharge their weapons when absolutely necessary,” Briley said.
The mayor’s office had already begun work with The Policing Project prior to the tragic event. The Policing Project, housed at the New York University School of Law, is a national organization dedicated to strengthening the relationship between police and the communities they serve.
“The mayor has asked that the Metro Nashville Police Department undergo a comprehensive review of its policing strategies, and I have committed to that process with an open mind. We started that process some months ago working with NYU and its Policing Project, which has been beneficial for both entities,” said Anderson in a news release.
Anderson was not at Briley's press conference on Wednesday.
The Policing Project has three basic principles that are appropriate for Nashville, Briley said.
These include:Robust engagement between police departments and the communities they serve around the policies and priorities of policing; When possible, policing practices should be guided by rules and policies that are adopted in advance of action, are transparent, and are formulated with input from the public; Police departments should develop and use sound metrics of success that encompass all of the goals of policing, including community trust.
“I appreciate the chief for agreeing to participate in the community process that I’ll be leading, with The Policing Project’s help, to change our policing culture,” said Briley. “We need more accountability for what happens when our police officers are on the streets, and we need to do more, on the front end, to guide how we police the city and ensure that our officers have the best training possible for defusing tense and challenging situations."
Weiner outlined three steps she would like to see in her statement.The Council allocated money more than a year ago for body cameras for MNPD Officers to provide clarity to our citizens and protections to our police officers and it’s well beyond time those funds be used to purchase the camera units, and associated equipment and implement the program. We must accelerate our work with the Policing Project to implement policies to increase collaboration between the community and our police. I applaud Mayor Briley for the work he’s begun, am eager to see the fruits of his efforts, and pledge to support his efforts in any way I can. Lastly, after hundreds of meetings and discussions with folks all over the city the last few months I have come to the thoughtful conclusion that we must seriously consider the need for new leadership at MNPD. Grave concerns have been raised by numerous people within the department and throughout the community to me about whether Chief Anderson is the appropriate person to lead the Department going forward. This is not about the decades of dedicated and faithful services the Chief has provided to this Department and our City, far from it, but merely about the clear need for a leader unburdened by past decisions and history who can offer the thoughtful leadership and direction we need to move forward.
According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, Hambrick was shot and killed the evening of July 26.
Earlier that night, officers with MNPD's Juvenile Crime Task Force noticed a car driving erratically. Officers tried stopping the vehicle, but the driver allegedly did not pull over. Police did not give chase, opting instead to expand the search for the vehicle.
Later in the evening, a Metro officer encountered a vehicle matching the car's description in the parking lot of the John Henry Hale Apartments, near the corner of 17th Avenue North and Jo Johnston Avenue.
Video evidence gathered by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation indicates three men exited the vehicle as the officer approached.
The TBI said Hambrick, who was driving the car, emerged with a handgun in his possession. The agency previously said investigators had obtained video appearing to show Hambrick with a dark-colored object in his hand.
According to the TBI, at least one Metro officer fired multiple shots at Hambrick, hitting him at least once. MNPD later identified Delke as the officer who fired the shots.
Authorities have said Delke was not wearing a body camera during the incident.
Hambrick was transported from the scene and treated by medics but died shortly after being shot.
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