Officer Who Shot Unarmed 19-Year-Old Zach Hammond in South Carolina Won’t Be …

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

State Will Not Charge South Carolina Officer Who Killed Zachary Hammond.

A local South Carolina police lieutenant will not be charged in state for fatally shooting a suspected drug dealer in late July officials announced Tuesday, but federal charges may still be pressed if the US Justice Department deems necessary. A local prosecutor in South Carolina said Tuesday that she would not bring charges against a police lieutenant who fatally shot a 19-year-old man during an attempted drug arrest in a Hardee’s parking lot in July. The teenage victim, Zachary Hammond, was wanted for evading arrest and skipping court on a prior drug-related warrant and local police in Seneca, S.C., had been tracking him since he fled a checkpoint in June, just one of many instances of Mr.

The case has drawn outrage in some quarters, partly because a private autopsy on the man, Zachary Hammond, who was unarmed, indicated that he had been shot from the side and the back, and through his car’s side window. Lieutenant Tiller told Hammond to put his hands up before grabbing the vehicle fender and firing a shot through the open window as Hammond tried to drive away. Investigation of the vehicle following the shooting was consistent with law enforcement’s suspicions, as cocaine and marijuana were found on Hammond’s person and near his seat. In addition to the dashcam video recording of the scene, police also collected 842 pages of text messages from Hammond’s phone, most of which revealed drug sales and some of which indicated Hammond’s “aggressive attitude towards police” and confirmed Hammond’s disregard for law enforcement authority.

Adams, the prosecutor who declined to bring charges, said in a letter explaining her decision to state law enforcement officials that the video, “viewed at full speed, standing alone, is troublesome.” However, she said: “The evidence from this investigation corroborates and supports Lieutenant Tiller’s belief that he was going to be run over. With the officer’s improper approach and position, she suggested, “control of the situation was lost.” She also noted that federal officials were reviewing the case to “determine if any federal charges, not available under state law, would be appropriate.” The Justice Department opened an inquiry in August, several weeks after the shooting.

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