Protest held in downtown Nashville to push for criminal justice reform

Posted at 7:18 PM, Jul 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 09:39:04-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On Sunday afternoon, a group of people gathered outside the Justice A.A. Birch Building to call for criminal justice reform.

"The Together Movement" and "Pounding 4 Change" hosted the rally, which started at 2:33 p.m. Organizers said they chose this start time because the numbers add up to 8, which represents a new beginning in the Bible. It's what they want to see in Nashville.

"We are not against the police, we are against bad policing," said Pastor Howard Jones with Fairfield Baptist Church.

The group is promoting the end of what they call discriminatory policing practices in Nashville and Davidson County, and would like to see more cultural education.

Protesters say they're upset former Metro officer Andrew Delke accepted a plea deal, rather than go to trial for shooting and killing Daniel Hambrick three years ago.

Jones believes Delke's reduced sentence is not adequate for the crime.

"To be offered 36 months, that hurts our hearts and community," Jones said. "Is this the kind of Nashville we are?"

Jones says there needs to be changes in the courtroom and he hopes to continue conversations with community leaders to help advocate for those who can't advocate for themselves.

"Those who are having a public defender may not be representing them properly," Jones said. "We want to make sure the DA is offering an absolutely fair and equitable sentence."

A few of the protesters at Sunday's rally were also outside of District Attorney Glenn Funk's home Saturday evening. They plan to protest outside of the home of Judge Monte Watkins next.