NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Even though three years have passed, for Daniel Hambrick’s friends, family, and pastor, time hasn’t healed.
“It doesn’t end. Every holiday they’re reminded. Every birthday, they’re reminded,” said Umiko Jones, Pastor of the Church of the Living God.
On Saturday, loved ones gathered in Watkins Park to remember 25-year-old Hambrick with a memorial and lantern release. On July 26, 2018, Hambrick was shot and killed by former Metro Officer Andrew Delke after a traffic stop and foot chase in North Nashville.
“Why did he run? If you had negative encounters with any kind of situation, if you’ve ever been bit by a dog you run from dogs,” Jones said. “And so I don’t think it’s right nor fair for persons to look at well why did he run? Why didn’t he run? Would you have run?”
Earlier this month, Delke was sentenced to three years in jail.
“All of us watched the day of the verdict. I said to her then, don’t be embarrassed about how you express yourself,” Jones said. “Nobody know the amount of pain, the grief, the number of nights. Nobody knows any of that except her.”
Community members who attended Hambrick’s memorial called for change and criminal justice reform.
“Hambrick’s case was crying for a Black community. Not just for this family, but a Black community who wanted and watched to see if we would get justice,” Civil Rights Activist Venita Lewis said.
After the trial, Metro Police Chief John Drake said he hopes to move forward, knowing the events of July 26, 2018 could never be undone. He pledged to continue pushing precision policing and de-escalation techniques.
In the meantime, the community members said they hoped their presence at Hambrick’s memorial showed his family they won’t be forgotten.