South Carolina, USA, police kill unarmed white teen for marihuana

This video from the USA says about itself:

Unarmed Zachary Hammond Shot Dead By Police

5 August 2015

Autopsy reports clearly disprove the police’s claim that a South Carolina officer fatally shot 19-year-old Zachary Hammond in self-defense, Hammond’s attorneys and parents say.

Remember a saying about persecution by the Hitler regime, attributed to German Protestant Pastor Martin Niemöller?

First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Social Democrats, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Social Democrat.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

With the deaths in the USA of Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Walter Scott and others … it may look as if black lives don’t matter.

However, if black lives don’t matter, then that is a threat to other lives as well. To all lives, ultimately.

From CNN in the USA:

South Carolina officer shoots unarmed white teen during pot bust

By Jareen Imam

August 7, 2015

You think you’ve heard this story before. A young, unarmed man is gunned down by police, black activists are outraged — the only difference with this scenario is that the young man is not black, he’s white.

Nineteen-year-old Zachary Hammond was on a date July 26 when he was fatally shot twice by a police officer while at the back parking lot of a Hardee’s fast food restaurant in Seneca, a city 40 miles from Greenville, near the North Carolina border, according to Eric Bland, the attorney representing the teen’s family. …

A small amount of marijuana was found in the front passenger’s compartment in Hammond’s car.

“He was a 19-year-old, 121-pound kid killed basically for a joint,” Bland said.

Tori Morton, who was on the date with Hammond, was arrested on charges of simple possession of marijuana. It was an amount, Bland said, that did not warrant such excessive police force.

[Police chief] Covington said the officer was attempting to arrest Hammond when the teen accelerated the car and drove toward the officer, prompting the officer to shoot in self-defense.

The Oconee County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on Tuesday and confirmed that Hammond was shot twice and had wounds consistent with a .45 caliber handgun that was used by the Seneca Police. Hammond suffered one gunshot wound to the collar bone-shoulder region and one wound to the chest, which was fatal, according to the report. The autopsy ruled that Hammond’s death was a homicide.

The report did not state if Hammond’s gunshot wounds were consistent with his vehicle moving at the time of the shooting.

Bland said Hammond’s wounds indicate the vehicle was not moving, and the teen was shot on the rear of his shoulder and on the side of his chest. The Hammond family commissioned an independent autopsy, which found the teen’s gunshot wounds indicated he was shot from behind and at close range.

Hammond’s death has not generated the same national outcry as the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others. Black Lives Matter, an activist community that is working to end what it says is the systematic targeting of black people by police, has been sharing Hammond’s story on social media as another example of police brutality while also asking why Hammond’s death has not prompted outrage by other groups. …

[on Twitter] Only reason I know about #ZacharyHammond is because #BlackLivesMatter activists I follow tweeted his story. ONLY reason

Meredith Clark, an assistant professor at the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas who is conducting research on the Black Lives Matter movement, told the Los Angeles Times the lack of outrage over Hammond’s death did not appear to be race-related. She said the lack of compelling video or a history of brutality complaints with the police department was more of a reason the story did not reach national levels.

A Seneca, South Carolina police officer will not face criminal charges for the brutal killing of unarmed 19-year-old Zachary Hammond on July 26: here.

Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform Addresses Sandra Bland’s Death: here.

17 thoughts on “South Carolina, USA, police kill unarmed white teen for marihuana

  1. 75% of women in prison are survivors of domestic violence.1 Too many of them are imprisoned as a direct result of the abuse they survived.

    Like Tondalo Hall. She’s a 30-year-old mother from Oklahoma serving a prison sentence FIFTEEN times longer than her abuser–for “failing to protect” her children from him.2

    Most people don’t even know this is happening–but we can change that. We can’t stop the policies that criminalize rather than protect survivors of domestic violence until people know about it. You can help by sharing this infographic today. Share now:

    Click here to share on Facebook:

    Not on Facebook? Click here for more sharing options.

    Thanks for speaking out.

    –Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kaili, Kathy, Onyi, Susan, Clarise, Anathea, Audine, Ryan, Shannon, and Vanessa, the UltraViolet team

    P.S. To take action demanding Tondalo Hall’s release, you can sign the petition here.


    1. Survivors of Abuse and Incarceration, Correctional Association of New York, accessed August 5, 2015

    2. This Battered Woman Wants to Get Out of Prison, BuzzFeed News, November 11, 2014


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  7. Death of Zachary Hammond points to possible police murder and cover-up

    Officer Mark Tiller shot Zachary Hammond, a 19-year-old white youth, twice, once in the back of his shoulder and once in the chest, during an undercover drug sting operation in Seneca, South Carolina on July 26. New information released by the lawyers of Hammond’s family points to the possibility that the youth was murdered to intimidate Hammond’s date, the target of the sting operation, Tori Morton.

    In a letter from attorneys Eric Bland and Robert Richter addressed to the US Justice Department, the lawyers assert that Morton “had additional criminal information regarding Adam Covington,” the son of Seneca police chief John Covington and a former reserve officer for the Seneca police. The letter notes that Adam Covington has a history of receiving illegal favoritism within the department, and that he was sentenced to two years’ probation and one year in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of theft of a controlled substance and misconduct in office.

    An investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division found numerous other incidents in which Covington was suspected of similar misconduct, but was shielded by department officials due to the fact that he is the son of the police chief. Referring to a possible investigation into a 2013 burglary incident, one captain is quoted as having said, “this came straight from the big man that if you go forward with this it would be a career-changing move.”

    In the letter, the attorneys also cite law enforcement sources from a neighboring department, who claim that officers on the scene “desecrated” Hammond’s body, raising Hammond’s hand and high-fiving it. The letter also reveals that an eyewitness claims to have seen an officer place something from the back of their patrol car underneath Hammond’ s body after he had been removed from the vehicle. The lawyers note that this likely explains the “white powdery substance consistent with powder cocaine” that was found on Hammond’s body.

    In the past week alone, two officers from the department have resigned, including one who had been on the scene the night Hammond was shot.

    In response to the letter, the Justice Department announced that it will launch its own civil rights investigation into Hammond’s death, but side-stepped the broader issues of nepotism and potentially a charge of murder by Tiller on behalf of reserve officer Covington.


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