Department of Justice will investigate police shooting of unarmed teen in Seneca SC

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it is investigating the death of Zachary Hammond, a 19-year-old white kid who was shot to death on July 26th by Lieutenant Mark Tiller, an officer employed by the Seneca Police Department in Seneca, South Carolina. The shooting occurred in a Hardee’s parking lot after Hammond picked up his order at the drive-through window and was about to exit the parking lot.

Unbeknownst to Hammond, police were running an undercover sting operation in the parking lot. A police vehicle suddenly pulled in front of him and stopped preventing him from exiting the parking lot. The New York Times reports,

According to the Oconee County coroner’s report, an officer identified as Lt. Mark Tiller then “felt threatened” as Mr. Hammond drove his car toward him. The officer fired two shots through the open window on the driver’s side, striking Mr. Hammond once in the shoulder and once fatally in the chest.

The coroner concluded that Hammond’s death was a homicide, rather than a justifiable shooting in self-defense, probably because Tiller could not have been in the zone of potential danger in front of Hammond’s vehicle when he fired the two shots through the driver’s side window.

Apparently, Hammond was an innocent person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was unarmed and he had no criminal record. He was not alone in the car.  A young woman was sitting in the front passenger seat holding an ice-cream cone. They were on their first date together. Police arrested her after the shooting and booked her into jail for possession of a small quantity of marijuana.

As if these circumstances were not sufficiently egregious, the lawyer who petitioned DOJ on behalf of Hammond’s parents to investigate the shooting as a potential civil rights violation, stated in the petition that “Seneca police officers desecrated Hammond’s body by lifting his dead hand and slapping it with a high-five gesture.”

The Seneca Police Department recently denied a public records request by two local newspapers to release dash-cam videos from the patrol cars.

 

 

15 Responses to Department of Justice will investigate police shooting of unarmed teen in Seneca SC

  1. Malisha says:

    OMG. Zachary Hammond was a young musician (oboe) and had nothing to do with guns, crime or even “rowdiness” (the “white” word for acting in such a way as to give police an excuse for ANYTHING). OMG. Nobody is safe!

    • so jaded says:

      Off topic but have u heard about fogen? I just read on raw topic that he teamed up with “muslim free zone” gun shop owner to sell confederate prints…has his base deserted him???

      • Malisha says:

        He imagines he’s so special. He’s presuming “theater of the absurd” but only reaching “dumb-ass racist punk without a lovin’ gal.” The punk with the “muslim-free” gun shop is trying to ride on Fogen’s name recognition.

      • Once again GZ is looking for trouble and surely he will create it, then call himself a “victim”
        I notice big bro makes no mention on twitter of his bros new “painting ” That says a lot!

        • Malisha says:

          They’re trying to milk the publicity surrounding the confederate rag. The “I.Q.” meaning “Intelligence Quotient” needs to be re-named in Florida to measure “D.Q.” for “Dumbassitude Quotient.”

  2. Kelly Payne says:

    Another cop who should never have been a cop.

  3. jenab6 says:

    I’m in general agreement with your conclusions, but I take issue with your implied epistemology within one of your paragraphs.

    Quote: “The coroner concluded that Hammond’s death was a homicide, rather than a justifiable shooting in self-defense, probably because Tiller could not have been in the zone of potential danger in front of Hammond’s vehicle when he fired the two shots through the driver’s side window.”

    If you’re running a law blog, then you’re almost certainly legally knowledgeable enough to know that the word homicide refers to any killing of a human being by another human being. Homicide, per se, does not have any connotations of illegality. There are illegal homicides, of course: murders and manslaughters. But there are also legal homicides, such as killing in self-defense and executions for capital crimes.

    So your extracting, from the coroner’s conclusion that Zachary’s killing was a “homicide,” the further conclusion that it was an illegal act, is somewhat contemptible. Unworthy of you. Whereas it is probably true that Mark Tiller did illegally kill Zach Hammond, this is not something you learn by noticing the word “homicide” in the coroner’s report.

    Straighten up. Fly right. You don’t need to embellish semantically this time. Tiller-the-Killer, if he is prosecuted, will almost certainly take whatever fall is due him for his conduct.

  4. bettykath says:

    Cops have had a field day killing all kinds of marginalized people, now they are going after white kids who are not obviously poor or suffering from mental illness. A couple more shootings of this sort and maybe the white majority will wake up and take action.

    • Malisha says:

      Right! A young white guy who has a car, a date and a taste for fast food is now on the list of people “OK to kill”? Look TF OUT!

  5. Malisha says:

    I don’t know whether to be astonished at the psychopath-quality of this murder or to be disgusted with its cultural normalcy! Police somehow decide they have a mission and they proceed to violate every rule, every law, every bit of common human decency, every expectation of civilized society. It’s happening so much that it begins to acquire a sort of surreal “ho-hum” quality. I get freaked out whenever I see a police car! They’re out of control; they’re mad!

    • ed nelson says:

      you are right!

      I want to empathise… or some shit… I want to state… that… this world is in a world of trouble…. (how’s that for a concept?]

      Put it this way: …. A world of trouble! I’m drinkin’ and I don’t know what to say… but these bastards gotts to go!

  6. ed nelson says:

    Sociopathy 101
    I mean a normal person, is sort of reluctant to even touch the dead, could it be that this gentleman” had some previous experiences with dead bodies?
    It reminds me of the creepy soldiers” who posed with bodies in one of the torture prisons in Iraq.
    I mean we would want our boys to grow and be all that they can be”, but, something seems to be wrong, if be all you can be is… devilish!
    When are the good guys (amonst ’em ) going to stand up?
    IE: Good cops Good prosecuters good Judges good citizens good… rich people….? Yeah, when yo’all going to jump through the eye of needle? too?

  7. Unbelievable. Surely this case is a violation of civil rights. There needs to some standard with dash cam videos as well. These need to be public or have some sort of public oversight and immediate firing of cops in cases like this needs to happen.

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