Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson made his first public remarks on Thursday after the release of a video on Wednesday showing an officer shooting Daniel Hambrick last month.
In a wide-ranging interview on Thursday with News4, Anderson said first and foremost his condolences go out to Hambrick’s family.
District Attorney General Glenn Funk released a video on Wednesday that showed Metro Officer Andrew Delke chasing after Daniel Hambrick.
The video from a camera at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School showed Delke, with gun drawn, chasing Hambrick around the corner, Hambrick turning back to look at Delke, and then Delke shooting Hambrick in the back.
The shooting has prompted the NAACP and Acting Vice Mayor Sheri Weiner to call for Anderson to step down.
Anderson said he saw the video for the first time on Tuesday with Funk and Nashville Mayor David Briley.
“It is very disturbing and I don’t know that it is OK,” said Anderson.
At a press conference on Wednesday at the NAACP headquarters, Hambrick’s family demanded Delke be fired immediately and charged with first degree murder.
“I can’t pass judgment on that it is OK or it’s not OK until I see everything that we’re able to gather,” said Anderson.
Delke is currently on administrative duty while the investigation continues.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation into the shooting of Hambrick at the request of Funk after a memorandum of understanding was reached with the city last year after another fatal shooting of Jocques Clemmons by a Metro Police officer.
The District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday the investigation should be complete in two weeks.
The NAACP said on Thursday that Anderson’s leadership is “past tense.”
“I don’t think he understands the needs of the community,” said Daniel Battle Griffin Jr., the administrative manager of the NAACP.
This came a day after Weiner issued a news release saying the police department needed new leadership.
“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,” Weiner said in the release.
Anderson was asked whether he had any plans to resign during the interview.
“I do not and that’s typical in situations like this, you know,” said Anderson. “I get calls for resignation on a regular basis. There’s always people in this extreme. Whatever we do is wrong there’s always people on this extreme that whatever we do is right. I try to keep it in the middle. That’s what best serves the public.”
Delke didn’t have a body camera despite Metro Council giving the police department money to fund a body camera program more than a year ago.
“The technology is going to save some lives,” said Griffin. “I don’t think there’s any bigger priority than that.”
One of the reasons Anderson is facing criticism is the lack of body cameras.
The city allocated millions for the purchase over a year ago. Weiner said they should have been purchased a long time ago.
“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,” Weiner said in a statement.
The NAACP said Anderson doesn’t want the cameras and is dragging his feet on making the purchase.
“We have $50 million allotted for the hardware and the back-up systems and we’re going through a procurement process,” said Anderson. “So keep in mind, if this were a private company or the money were given to me personally, I would bring the staff in and I would say I’m going to give you a month to research the best vendor, what best suits us, the quality of cameras we need, and we would go out and buy them. With this being the government, everybody has to have an equal chance to participate in the process.”
Anderson said he hopes to get the cameras and start testing them in the fall. He hopes to have them fully operational in the spring.
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