On July 27th, 2018 Metro Police officer Andrew Delke killed Daniel Hambrick in North Nashville, after pulling him over on a suspected stolen vehicle. It was later revealed that the vehicle wasn’t stolen & the claim Officer Delke had stated to TBI about Hambrick being armed was also fake.
This prompted the community to take action as this was the 3rd time in a week where police had mowed someone down in the United States. Black Lives Matter & local Nashville Community Oversight organized a vigil at the location of Hambrick’s death in North Nashville.
About 5:30pm local organizers were gathered at Watkins Park behind a banner honoring Daniel Hambrick (or “Dan Dan” as his nickname suggest). A short meeting was held where they met with his family, & introduced themselves. Daniel’s Aunt was welcoming to the organizers & explained how his murder was unjust & how it negatively impacted the community.
About 6pm the event began with a longtime resident, military veteran & community leader giving a historic insight on the racial injustice he experienced in the 1950’s & how it continued to be carried out today through the police force. Daniel Hambrick’s mother spoke afterwards & about 3 minutes into her words broke-down in tears and was escorted by activist to a bench to recollect herself.
This was a moment where emotions began to flare in the event. Feelings of sadness, anger & discomfort began to surface in the crowd as more & more people began to shed tears. The speeches continued for about 30 minutes before coming to a close.
While the crowd was attempting to leave, Daniel’s older brother began to march with about 15 people towards the street before stopping on the sidewalk. It was clear that the group was not happy about having his mother & family shed tears over an amateur cop taking the life of one of their own. The crowd immediately followed behind with neon-guard escorts in the street as they headed towards Charlotte Avenue.
Police Retreats & Shut Down
With the crowd fully amped up & ready, they headed towards the middle of Charlotte Avenue. Almost instantly about 7 police cruisers pulled out in front of them stopping traffic amongst hostile words between police & the crowd. Surprisingly the police did not attempt to press the crowd, as they moved closer to police vehicles to the point where they were put in reverse about 3 blocks back. Charlotte Avenue had been closed down for about 20 minutes with no interference, before the group headed back close to Watkins Park.
17th Avenue was where Daniel Hambrick was killed. As more & more residents began to come out & join the march, so did the police. 17th Avenue was closed down with both police being halted 2 blocks back & faced with the community up front, providing a giant space in-between the two sides.
There were several interactions with the police on the front end of the stand off. Community members heckled officers specifically targeting the two black officers on duty.
A White female officer was sitting passenger-side in a cruiser & pulled out her cell phone laughing while recording the group heckling her. She then attempted to get out of the vehicle & intimidate the crowd but soon retreated back into the cruiser after what seemed like an attempted physical shove towards a female protestor. Upon witnessing this, the crowd swarmed and confronted her until she & the officer driving sped out of the crowd.
Police Accountability In Nashville
There are several projects in the works, to monitor illegal police repression. Everything from Community Oversights, to open conversations with police to get a better grasp on handling these tense situations.
However, as Anarchists & Anti-Fascists we know & are aware that the same group of Fascists & White Supremacists we tend to take down everyday are putting on white robes, carrying blue line flags, & III% decal when they take the badge off.
This action worked fantastically & showed that when there’s true solidarity & community alertness, the streets & the system will beg for mercy. But this isn’t the first time or the end. As much as it hurts to realize, these vicious murders will continue to happen in Nashville & the United States unless there is some form of police watch & anti-repression groups organized. In Nashville alone, 2 times is enough.
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