$30 Million Dollar Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Nashville
As first mentioned in Message 195, this past July Officer Andrew Delke of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department shot and killed Daniel Hambrick while he was running away. The murder was captured on video:
Delke has already been indicted for murder by a grand jury (hey, Hryo, finally an example for you of how grand juries actually fit into the legal process), but now Hambrick's family has filed a lawsuit asking $30 million in punitive damages.
And just look at where Delke fired his weapon: in a residential neighborhood where anyone who was checking their mailbox or picking up their newspaper or walking their dog or children playing in the front yard would have been exposed to any of his shots. How far does a bullet travel after missing it's target? Would a mile be a reasonable guess? Officer Delke was firing bullets that could probably travel a mile or more before striking an object - or a person. He supposedly fired four bullets, and Hambrick was struck only three times. Do you think they ever found that fourth bullet? Since there were no other bodies on the ground besides Hambrick's we know it didn't strike a person, but it struck something. What did it hit, and how close did it come to hitting someone?
Delke's likely just an average guy with average judgement and average emotions and average skills (actually, given that he hit a running Hambrick three times from a fair distance, I'd say he has above average marksman skills), yet he fired shots in a residential neighborhood full of families and children. He shouldn't be carrying a deadly weapon.
That's no shame on him - very few possess the necessary qualities to carry a deadly weapon around in public. Poor schmucks like Delke are not to blame. Statistically in a large country like the US where we issue deadly weapons to all our police, incidents like this are going to happen to some police officer somewhere every day, and this particular day it was Delke's turn. It is our local governments and our society in general that allows our public spaces to be peppered with individuals carrying deadly weapons. Until it stops the police condoned murders (usually, though not this time) will continue.