No charges will be filed against a Seneca, South Carolina, police officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old, a state prosecutor announced on Oct. 27. The dash cam footage of the fatal shooting was recently released (video below).
Zachary Hammond was killed during a first date with Tori Morton on July 26, the Associated Press reports. The two had gone to McDonald’s to get ice cream, then Hardee’s so Morton could get a hamburger. The two were waiting at Hardee’s after an undercover officer arranged a drug deal with Morton.
According to officers, Hammond attempted to leave when officer Mark Tiller pulled up and flashed his lights. Tiller said that he thought Hammond was going to run him over, so he fired twice to protect himself, according to Tiller's lawyer.
A private autopsy revealed that Hammond was shot in the back and side, proving that the threat had passed. Hammond’s family also noted that Tiller threatened to blow Hammond’s head off. However, city lawyers have said that the shooting was justified through self-defense.
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The family noted that Hammond’s body was left on the ground for 90 minutes and bitten by ants after paramedics declared him dead. They also alleged that a second officer gave Hammond’s dead body a high five.
In legal papers, it was noted that a second officer may have said something inappropriate about Hammond’s body.
According to solicitor Chrissy Adams, Hammond had used cocaine and marijuana three to six hours before being shot by Tiller, Daily Mail reports. She also noted that Hammond was on the fast track to a bad life, according to 840 pages of text messages from Hammond’s phone.
Morton was unharmed in the incident and was charged with simple possession of marijuana.
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Photo Credit: Fox News, Seneca Police Department