A provocative comment made during the preliminary hearing in the homicide case against Nashville Officer Andrew Delke has prompted a heated exchange between the case’s competing attorneys.
At issue is how Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk compared the officer’s defense to one used by war criminals.
“Andrew Delke was following his training — same defense that Himmler used at Nuremberg, that Lt. Calley used in Vietnam, and now Andrew Delke is propounding to this court,” Funk said in his closing statement on Saturday.
On Monday, after a judge ruled that the homicide charge should advance to the grand jury, defense attorney David Raybin called a news conference. Raybin, who also represents the Fraternal Order of Police, made a point of addressing Funk.
“Such inflammatory comments have no place in this city, or more importantly in a courtroom,” Raybin said. “District Attorney Glenn Funk has functionally declared war on our police. Because all of our officers are trained in an identical fashion.”
“Let me be clear: Nashville police officers are not Nazis.”
Within an hour, Funk fired back. In a statement, he said Raybin’s assertion couldn’t be “further from the truth.”
“Contrary to Mr. Raybin’s statement, General Funk’s comments during the preliminary hearing were that individuals are accountable for their actions and cannot assign blame to their superiors or the department as a whole,” Funk wrote.
The tension could rise again as the case continues, because police training has already been central to courtroom arguments.
The defense has maintained that Delke followed his training and police protocol before he fatally shot 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick on July 26, 2018.