Police Account of Unarmed Teen's Death 'Ridiculous'

Black Lives Matter activists share Zachary Hammond story
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2015 5:21 AM CDT
Police Account of Unarmed Teen's Death 'Ridiculous'
Zachary Hammond is shown in this photo.   (Eric Bland)

If police had let Zachary Hammond's vehicle leave a Hardee's parking lot last month instead of shooting him dead, the only danger the public would have faced is "possible minor possession of marijuana," his family's lawyer says. In a statement, lawyer Eric Bland condemns the police justification of the shooting of the unarmed teenager as "offensive" and "ridiculous," NBC reports. There was no arrest warrant or APB, "there was no ticking bomb situation. This is clearly made up," the lawyer says, noting that independent autopsy results showed the Seneca, SC, 19-year-old was shot in the side, though police say he was backing toward an officer at speed when he was shot.

Police described Mark Tiller, the officer who fired the shots, as a "victim of attempted murder" and they refused to release his name until Freedom of Information Act requests were filed. Hammond was white and the killing hasn't created the same outcry as other recent officer-involved deaths, although Black Lives Matter activists have been sharing his story, CNN reports. His family says they're living a nightmare and that they're glad of any help they can get in the search for answers. "I wake up at night and I can see Zach lying there in the morgue," his father tells the Post and Courier. "I think about those last few seconds and whatever happened in the Hardee's parking lot. Then I don't sleep anymore." (More Zachary Hammond stories.)

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