Photo: Eric Bland
Because of the lack of media coverage, a lot of the details about the shooting of 19 year old Zachary Hammond is still unknown. The officer’s account of what happened doesn’t match up with that of the girlfriend, who was arrested for possession of marijuana.
Zachary Hammond was on a first date when he was fatally shot by a police officer in his car during a drug bust in South Carolina, his family says.
At the time the 19-year-old was shot and killed, his date, Tori Morton, was eating an ice cream cone, according to the family’s attorney, Eric Bland.
Morton, 23, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana — all 10 grams of it — which, according to police, was the reason undercover agents set up the drug buy.
The official police report never mentioned the two gunshots that killed Hammond on July 26 in a Hardees parking lot. Seneca police say a second report — which has not been released to the public — details the officer’s account of the shooting.
Amid heightened scrutiny of fatal police shootings across the country, Hammond’s death has prompted numerous questions, few answers — and almost no national outrage.
More than a week after Hammond’s death, his family’s attorney says race is almost certainly playing a role in the disconcerting silence. Unlike the victims in the highest-profile police shootings over the past year — in cities from Ferguson and Cleveland to North Charleston and Cincinnati — Hammond was white.
So far this year, 25 percent of the people shot dead by police have been black, according to data collected by the Washington Post. But black people make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population.
Police say the officer was a victim of “attempted murder” by Hammond, who was driving the vehicle. According to Seneca Police Chief John Covington, Hammond was driving the car “toward the officer” who was trying to make the stop.
The officer fired twice, striking Hammond in the shoulder and torso.
His death was classified as a homicide; an autopsy conducted by the Oconee County Coroner’s Office did not specify from which direction the bullets hit Hammond’s body.
On Wednesday, Hammond’s family released the results of a private autopsy, which concluded that both bullets entered Hammond’s body from the back.
While there’s still a lot about this shooting that doesn’t make any sense, the evidence seems to point towards foul play on the part of the police officer at the scene. With that in mind, where are the protesters? Where’s the outrage? Does this mean the other demonstrations happened only because of the skin color of the victims? That’s what it’s starting to look like.
For more information read on at The WashingtonPost