Why we’re making this podcast:
When Metro Nashville Police Officer Andrew Delke shot and killed Daniel Hambrick during a foot chase in 2018, something changed in this city. It wasn’t the first time a Black man had been killed by a white officer, or even the first time such an incident was caught on camera. But the shooting did spark the first murder charges against a Nashville police officer for an on-duty shooting and led to the creation of a civilian oversight board, something that had been first proposed decades earlier. We wanted to investigate the details of this particular case while also answering larger questions about policing in Nashville, like how officers are trained to use deadly force, as well as the role of race in law enforcement.
Listen to Morning Edition host Rachel Iacovone interview Deadly Force host Samantha Max about the process of reporting and producing this podcast. Learn more about the project below.
How we reported it:
The reporting process for this podcast has spanned three years, starting the night Officer Andrew Delke shot and killed Daniel Hambrick. We conducted more than 15 hours of interviews. We spoke with the loved ones of Delke and Hambrick, as well as national policing experts, local activists, and current and former officers at the Metro Nashville Police Department.
Several people we reached out to for interviews never responded or declined to comment, including: Officer Andrew Delke, Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk, former Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson and current Chief John Drake. To paint a clearer picture of Andrew Delke without a personal interview, we reviewed his police application, personnel file, use-of-force reports and dispatch tape from his use-of-force incidents. We also listened to his interview with agents at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and found information about him online. For Daniel Hambrick, we reviewed his court records, social media posts, childhood photos and letters family and friends wrote on his behalf when he was in jail.
To understand the history of the Nashville police department and the training it provides officers, we reviewed the police training curriculum and materials from 2016, the year Delke went through the academy, and 2018, the most recent year available. We also reviewed local and national news articles dating back to the 1960s, as well as TV news stories chronicling more recent incidents. To better understand the 2018 shooting, we watched the surveillance video of Delke chasing Hambrick outside the John Henry Hale Apartments and traced their path, both in Google Maps and by car. We also referenced the 2016 Driving While Black report and the 2018 Policing Project report to gain a better understanding of the use of traffic stops in Nashville, and compared that information with the police department’s Compstat data.
Each episode in this series went through multiple rounds of edits with six editors — five employed by Nashville Public Radio and one outside consultant, Dwight Lewis, who spent much of his career as a reporter and editor at the Tennessean and covered many of the historical incidents mentioned in this podcast. The episodes also were fact-checked by an independent contractor.
See the full series: Deadly Force