America’s unending reign of police terror
11 August 2018
Four years after the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by police officer Darren Wilson sparked mass popular outrage over police violence, the daily onslaught of police killings in the US continues. Through the end of July, at least 720 people have had their lives taken by the police this year, averaging more than three deaths every day.
At the current pace, 2018 will be among the deadliest years on record for police killings in the US. Nearly all these killings pass under the radar of the national media. Those especially egregious incidents that are captured on video garner a few obligatory seconds on the nightly news before being dropped.
In one of the latest fatal encounters, 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick was shot in the back and killed, as he ran from a traffic stop on July 26, by 25-year-old Nashville, Tennessee police officer Andrew Delke. Hambrick was African American, Delke is white.
Initial reports indicated that Hambrick was killed during a traffic stop after he emerged from the car armed with a gun. The police justified the killing by publicizing the fact that Hambrick had a long record of criminal convictions.
With no police bodycam or dashcam footage immediately forthcoming, Hambrick’s killing passed with little notice outside of local media. Vigils and protests were held by family and friends demanding justice and an end to police killings. Hambrick was fondly remembered as “Dan Dan,” a young man who cared deeply for his family and was looking forward to starting a new job this month.
This week, the lies of the police were exposed when surveillance video was released by the district attorney showing that Delke shot Hambrick in the back as he fled, sparking national outrage.