Metro Nashville Police Officer Andrew Delke says he was just following his training when he shot and killed Daniel Hambrick during a foot chase. So have his attorneys and supporters at the police union. It’s been one of their primary arguments in support of the officer, who now faces murder charges.
By combing through thousands of pages of documents from the police academy’s curriculum and listening to Delke’s own testimony, we show that the department’s training is broad and has made changes in recent years to prioritize de-escalation and ethics. But when Delke pulled the trigger, one message drowned out all the others: action beats reaction.
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the department’s training and culture and the mixed messages officers receive about when to use deadly force.
To report this story, WPLN News requested more than 1,000 pages of training materials from the Metro Nashville Police Department that we thought would be relevant to Delke’s case, ranging from traffic stops and foot pursuits to implicit bias and de-escalation training. The documents come from 2016, the year Delke went through MNPD’s training academy, and 2018, the most recent session available at the time of our public records request. You can find them here:
WPLN News Investigates: Deadly Force is a production of Nashville Public Radio. Written, produced and sound designed by Samantha Max. Edited by Chas Sisk, Emily Siner, Anita Bugg, Tony Gonzalez, Meribah Knight and Dwight Lewis. Fact-checked by Daniel Potter. Chas Sisk also contributed reporting. Find the rest of this podcast at wpln.org/deadlyforce.