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Unarmed white teen killed by police. Family asks: Where is the outrage?


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The Washington Post / August 6, 2015

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.

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 — 19-year-old Zachary Hammond was white.

“It’s sad, but I think the reason is, unfortunately, the media and our government officials have treated the death of an unarmed white teenager differently than they would have if this were a death of an unarmed black teen,” Bland told The Washington Post this week. “The hypocrisy that has been shown toward this is really disconcerting.”

He added: “The issue should never be what is the color of the victim. The issue should be: Why was an unarmed teen gunned down in a situation where deadly force was not even justified?”

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. According to the autopsy, the second bullet proved to be fatal, entering from the back of Hammond’s left side and passing through his chest, piercing his lungs and heart.

In a statement Wednesday, Coroner Karl E. Addis said he does not know how Hammond’s body was positioned at the time he was shot.

The facts of the fatal shooting are not unlike other cases that have prompted national outcry — most recently the shooting death of Sam DuBose, an unarmed black man who was shot dead during a traffic stop by a University of Cincinnati police officer. Officials released police dashboard camera footage of the incident which appeared to contradict the officer’s report that he was being dragged by DuBose’s vehicle. The video showed that the car was not moving when the weapon was fired and the officer was named and charged with murder.

But Seneca police have refused to name the officer involved in the Hammond case, though, they say, he has been placed on administrative leave.

The officer used a similar rationale as the one in Cincinnati — that the vehicle was being used as a weapon.

“The driver accelerated and came toward the officer,” Covington, the police chief, said a day after the shooting, according to Fox Carolina. The officer “fired two shots in self-defense, which unfortunately were fatal for the suspect.”

In a statement, Covington said: “We will not be releasing the [officer’s] name that was involved in the shooting and consider him a victim of attempted murder as we have previously stated several times. We feel that releasing his name may possibly subject the officer and family to harassment, intimidation or abuse.”

The response to Hammond’s death has been disappointingly muted in Seneca, in South Carolina and nationally, said Bland, the family lawyer. He insists there would be more focus on the case if Hammond had been black.

“They’re called the civil rights organizations, they’re not called the black rights organizations,” Bland said. “The color of his skin should not matter. White-on-white crime does not get the same impact as white-on-black crime.”

Black activists are similarly asking why more people who countered the Black Lives Matter movement by saying “All Lives Matter” have been so silent on Hammond’s death.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/unarmed-white-teen-killed-by-police-family-asks-where-is-the-outrage/ar-BBlsiwE

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Any pics of the car he was in? Unless the rounds went thru the windshield somewhere from the centerline of the steering wheel towards the center of the car he wasn't trying to run over the officer.

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The police are withholding crime scene photographs as evidence. Why not have used a stun gun?

But I did read this:

Was Zachary Hammond shot from behind?

During an undercover marijuana bust, a South Carolina police officer says the 19-year-old teen was driving a car and appeared to be veering toward the officer as if Hammond intended to run him over. The police officer says he shot and killed the teen in self-defense, but the family claims the autopsy proves the cop shot Zachary Hammond from behind.

The unidentified South Carolina police officer said he feared for his life when Hammond allegedly started driving his vehicle at the cop. The officer was approaching the car with his gun drawn, so he opened fire, killing the teen.

The reason the family feels that the police officer shot Zachary Hammond from behind is due to the autopsy report.

According to the Associated Press, Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis says the teen died from a gunshot wound to the upper torso, but he did not indicate whether the shooting took place from behind or in front.

Attorney Eric Bland claims the first shot hit Hammond in the left rear shoulder and the second bullet hit at a downward angle into his side from the rear, piercing the teen’s heart and lungs.

“The shots were so close in proximity to each other that it would be physically impossible unless the car was stopped and the officer came up very close to an open window,” Bland said. “Picture a car going 20 miles an hour and I’m fortunate enough to get a shot off, and I hit you — there’s no way I can get the second shot if the car’s going 20 miles an hour.”

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So undercover agents, civilian dress, probably with a beard or unshaven, approaching the car with a drawn weapon and most likely yelling orders. I'm would give odds the kid was scared and or panicked as most people would..

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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I notice in the News here,they ALWAYS mention the Race of the person shot,and the Race of the Cop. I think the fact that the Lamestream Media ALWAYS mention RACE early in the story makes THEM the Racists. I'm SO OVER this Racist BS,and the PC BS too. Call things what they ARE--NOT what they look like they might be if you didn't wanna hurt anybody's feelers. If getting insulted or getting your feelings hurt does THAT much damage to you,maybe you need to live somewhere that can AFFORD to be PC.

Just my two cents worth,plus interest

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I personally have noticed, since the mid-nineties, a growing number of arrogant "power-trip" minded and/or low caliber, low integrity individuals are successfully entering our nation's police forces, as if the filtering mechanisms within the hiring process had been drastically revised downward.

Based on this report, it appears the police officer planted the "evidence" on the boy.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3199507/Parents-unarmed-teen-shot-dead-police-South-Carolina-claim-cops-celebrated-death-lifting-dead-hand-high-five-it.html

A witness '…states that the officer who opened Zachary's door and pulled his dead body from the vehicle then went 'to the trunk of his police car and pulled (SIC) something out. 'The officer walked back over to the man on the ground rolled him over to his side, put something underneath his body, and then rolled him back.'

A police officer with a neighboring police force has confirmed to SLED that the Seneca Police Department celebrated the killing of Zachary by desecrating his corpse. 'After Zachary had been shot and killed, member(s) of the Seneca Police Department lifted his dead hand and 'high fived' Zachary Hammond.'

The officer who shot Hammond claims he shot him dead through the driver's side window because he 'feared for his life' as he was driving towards him during an undercover drug operation. Hammond's death was later ruled a homicide following two autopsies - one by local officials and another private. One revealed the shots came from the back and the car was not moving at the time - questioning the theory from police that the officer was in fear of his life. Seneca Police department have refused to name the officer involved in the shooting.

Seneca Police chief John Covington, whose son has previously been arrested on drug charges, has stood by the account and insists the boy wasn't shot from behind. Adam Covington, the son of Seneca's police chief was arrested and charged with misconduct in office and theft of a controlled substance after stealing 30 hydrocodone pills from a woman at the Oconee County Detention Center.

The family's attorney Eric Bland told The Washington Post: 'The shots were so close in proximity to each other that it would be physically impossible unless the car was stopped and the officer came up very close to an open window.'

He also commented on the lack of outcry following his death, suggesting recent police-related shootings have received more press coverage. 'It's sad, but I think the reason is, unfortunately, the media and our government officials have treated the death of an unarmed white teenager differently than they would have if this were a death of an unarmed black teen. 'The hypocrisy that has been shown toward this is really disconcerting.'

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When the authorities are collaborating in organized corruption, it obviously gives the disrupting elements in today's society an unwelcome argument, and pushes away the ability of our country to get back on the right track.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3199013/Three-cops-two-liquor-store-owners-prominent-attorney-wife-daughter-nine-arrested-murder-small-time-California-crook.html

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Rev Al and Obama both mentioned a "promising life cut short and promised an investigation. . . azzes all

http://www.wsj.com/articles/firefighter-shot-responding-to-long-island-incident-1439554041

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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