We spent some time talking to people that had interactions with 25-year-old Officer Andrew Delke over the past few days. Andrew Delke is the MNPD Officer who shot and killed Dan Hambrick on Thursday in Nashville after a traffic stop. The shooting was not captured on video, and the details are still murky at best, as autopsy details leak before the official report.
We wanted to get an idea of his history, his interactions with the public, including reviewing his prior arrest documents. People we interviewed described him as a ‘Type-A’ style personality, at least outwardly. What the court documents show, is an officer that was frequently taunted by people he was trying to arrest. He had been outright beaten up and put in a choke hold by a man twice his age that was walking through a park after hours. Another subject would make him run circles around a car, and another just pushed him out of their way to carry about their business, literally shoo’ing him away. Even another walked over and pushed down the spotlight on his patrol car, when it was shining on him.
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We combed through over 200 reports related to his arrests, and here are some of the ones that were representative of the reports we heard from citizens.
June 16th, 2018, at 3:19 AM, Officer Andrew Delke conducted a Terry stop on a 47-year-old black man, due to the man walking through McFerrin Park during after posted hours. While Delke was trying to take him into custody for the trespass, the man began to resist and pull away, and the man then turned around to face Delke, and tackled him to the ground.
The man, nearly twice Officer Delke’s age, then wrapped his arm around Delke’s neck, and placed him in a choke hold, during which time Delke says “I felt his arm starting to crush my throat before I was able to get out of the position”. The man then began to strike Officer Delke with closed fists, and officer Delke repeatedly yelled “STOP RESISTING!” according to sworn accounts of the incident (2018-0522224). The man then attempted to reach for Delke’s gun, during which there was another tussle to the ground, during which time Delke says:
“I returned blows with my fists to his face, as I shouted commands to STOP RESISTING!”
Officer Delke was able to get one handcuff on his right wrist, but then he fought again, until Officer Amanda Hane arrived at 3:28 AM, and assisted in getting the man into custody.
We talked to many that had direct interactions with Officer Delke, and we found no one that would say they had respect for him as an officer, even prior to the shooting. We found this incident from May, which echoed the same attitude that dozens described to us in regards to Delke.
On May 19th, Officer Delke responded to an incident at Riverchase apartments, in which he commanded a subject out of a vehicle, and the 48-year-old black man walked right past the Officer Delke toward a crowd of people, ignoring all of Delke’s commands. Delke then placed his hands on the man to prevent him from approaching the group, and the man simply shook off the officer’s hands, and yelled “You can’t touch me”, according to an arrest warrant signed by Delke (#2018-0440151). The man then continued to ignore Officer Delke, even going to Delke’s patrol car and pushed the spotlight down, which was previously illuminating the man’s car. He was eventually arrested for disorderly conduct.
In March of 2108, Officer Delke was walking to a 22-year-old black man, outside of a vehicle, when he says he smelled the odor of marijuana on him, and attempted to conduct a search. Once Delke started to go into the man’s pockets, he took off running, then stopped. As Delke approached him, he began to run circles around the vehicle, with officer Delke in chase. Delke continued to order him to ‘stop’ and ‘show your hands’, but the man continued to run in circles around the car, taunting Delke. Officer Delke eventually drew his Taser on the man, and he ignored it at first, but eventually complied and remained still until backup arrived to assist in placing him into custody.
In another incident last September (2017-0793139), Officer Delke spotted a 30-year-old black man driving without headlights, and stopped him at a gas station, when he smelled weed when the man got inside the car to turn the light on. During that time, Delke gave comments to get out of the vehicle, which was ignored, so Delke grabbed the man’s arm to pull him out, and the man simply pushed Delke back and took off running from him.
While these incidents do not paint a complete portrait of all 200+ arrest reports he was involved with, it does show a trend that was initially relayed to us by the community. Earlier, we reported on how he mistook a man with gambling dice for a man with a gun, just 24 hours before he shot Dan Hambrick.
This is still a developing story, as we await further details from the TBI investigation, and an official release of the autopsy report.