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DPFCA_NEWS: 19 yo boy killed by cop in marijuana bust

From: dougmcvay – January 1, 1970

That was a month ago. Here’s an important update: http:www.independentmail.comnewsdashboard-video-withheld-six-weeks-after-fatal-zachary-hammond-shooting19152285 Dashboard video withheld six weeks after fatal Zachary Hammond shooting by Mike Ellis Sep 5 2015 SENECA – Six weeks after 19-year-old Zachary Hammond was fatally shot by a Seneca police officer the patrol car dashboard video has not yet been released. The Seneca video will eventually be made public and when it is investigators should justify the delay in the release said state Sen. Larry Martin chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The amount of time it is taking to release the video is longer than in other similar cases in the state since 2014. Martin a Pickens Republican said there are investigative reasons to withhold video and he supports the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigation of the case. If an investigation is pursuing a lead in a stage in the early hours or days I can understand that Martin said. But to hold video for weeks or months begs the question why is it being done that way My thought is that the investigation needs to produce the videotape; it is reasonable in every police encounter that rises to this level. If its being concealed because it does shed negative light on the officers actions thats an obvious outcry. Attorneys for Hammonds parents said Friday that they plan to file a lawsuit soon to compel the release of the video which they have not seen. We are screaming for it to be released said Eric Bland one of those attorneys. The city of Seneca is neither joining the call for release of the video nor opposing its release said Tim Brett of Complete Public Relations a firm hired by Seneca to respond to requests for information about the Hammond case. Brett said the video or videos were immediately turned over to SLED agents and the city supports the SLED investigation. Seneca Police Chief John Covington did not respond to a request for comment. Accounts of the shooting given by the officers attorney and the Seneca Police Department are different from that given in an affidavit by a woman in the car with Hammond. Hammond was shot twice through the open drivers side window of his Honda on June 26 in the parking lot of a Hardees on U.S. 123 Bypass. An autopsy conducted by Pathology Associates of Greenville working for attorneys hired by Hammonds parents found the bullets went from back to front. The official autopsy which has not been released will likely mirror the private one 10th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams has previously said. Seneca Police Lt. Mark Tiller a 32-year-old night shift supervisor fired twice when Hammond reversed and then rapidly accelerated his car toward Tiller his attorney has said. Tiller has been on administrative leave since the shooting. An affidavit from 23-year-old Tori Morton who was in the car with Hammond at the time of the shooting says the car was in drive and was not moving until Hammond was shot. Morton was charged with marijuana possession. Police reports and statements from the police department have identified Morton as the target of a drug sting. At least two police cars were at the shooting scene during or shortly after the shooting: Tillers and that of another officer who has not been identified and who used a police car to stop Hammonds vehicle from rolling away. City officers were not wearing body cameras in the course of the drug sting but there was dashboard video from at least one police car Covington said the day after the July 26 shooting. He said two officers Tiller and an undercover officer were at the scene at the time of the shooting but several others were nearby for a drug sting. According to search warrants and police reports at least five officers were there at some point soon after the shooting and the sting involved marijuana. A police report says Morton was positively identified as she drove into the parking lot. But a search warrant for the car submitted after the shooting indicated the officers did not know the identity of Morton or Hammond. SLED which was given a dashboard video card or cards at the scene of the shooting has cited exemptions to the states Freedom of Information Act law in denying requests from the Independent Mail and other news outlets to make the video public. Officials with SLED were not available Friday to discuss the videos or the agencys FOIA policy about videos. The agency has previously and consistently said the video needs to be withheld because the investigation is open and ongoing. Courts have rejected the same FOIA exemptions cited in the Hammond case in previous lawsuits against SLED the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and the North Charleston Police Department. But the exemptions continue to be cited by state agencies in denying requests for video said Bill Rogers president of the South Carolina Press Association. In five cases of shootings involving officers in South Carolina that have happened since 2014 video was released within three weeks in all but one example. The Associated Press and the Aiken Standard are suing SLED to have the video made public in that case and hearings have been scheduled in the case Rogers said. The shooting happened in February 2014 when a North Augusta officer shot and killed 68-year-old Ernest Satterwhite in February 2014 after a police chase of about 12 miles. The chase began with a suspension of drunken driving it ended in Satterwhites driveway. The officer raced up to the car and shot Satterwhite and has told investigators that Satterwhite was reaching for his gun. A different police shooting in North Charleston in April was more widely publicized. SLED officials released dashboard video five days after the shooting two days after a civilian video that showed the shooting was made public. The officer involved was charged with murder. SLED officials have previously said the shooting in North Charleston was not caught on the dashboard camera so it could be released unlike the video of the North Augusta shooting. State Sen. Martin said legislators are going to be looking at timely release of police videos in next years session. There does seem to be a disparate treatment of those videos no question about that. If its good to release it if its favorable then whats the harm in releasing it if its bad he said. The Seneca case which happened near Martins district has a lot of people asking questions about why the video has not been made public. He said law enforcement agencies are quick to release many videos whether to identify suspects or show that officers acted justly such as a video Greenville Police Department released Tuesday. That dashboard video shows a woman who drove away while two officers were leaning into her car dragging one officer and fleeing the scene with the other in the passenger side of her car. The Spartanburg Police Department released within a day body camera footage of an officer who was punched while conducting a traffic stop Wednesday. Unless theres some material aspect of the Seneca video that leads investigators into a direction that isnt obvious I come down on the side that videos should be released as quickly as possible because that seems to be what law enforcement is doing throughout the state Martin said. After a preliminary period of time for due diligence there comes a point where shielding video is no longer necessary. The problem in this case is it seems to be playing out so differently. Were waiting. Why Follow Mike Ellis on Twitter MikeEllisAIM Freedom of Information requests Recent cases involving law enforcement and video release in South Carolina – A North Augusta public safety officer allegedly shot a man in his driveway after a slow speed chase on Feb. 10 2014. The officer was indicted May 27 2015. A lawsuit is seeking to force the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to release the dashboard video. – A South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper shot a man at a gas station in Columbia on Sept. 4 2014. The trooper was fired Sept. 19 2014 and charged on Sept. 24 the same day video was released. – A York County sheriffs deputy shot a man during a traffic stop as the man drew a cane that the officer perceived to be a gun. The man was shot Feb. 25 and video was released March 12. – A Berkeley County sheriffs deputy was shot May 14 by a man and SLED released video of the shooting May 15. – A North Charleston officer shot a man on April 4. Civilian video footage was released April 7 and SLED released patrol car dashboard footage April 9. The Associated Press contributed to this report. SLED rejects request for video release Freedom of Information Act exceptions cited by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division in a denial of a request for the release of dashboard video from the shooting of Zachary Hammond. The state agency cited items (A)(3)(B) (A)(3)(D) and (A)(4) in rejecting the request. (A) A public body may but is not required to exempt from disclosure the following information (3) Records of law enforcement and public safety agencies not otherwise available by state and federal law that were compiled in the process of detecting and investigating crime if the disclosure of the information would harm the agency by: (A) disclosing identity of informants not otherwise known; (B) the premature release of information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action; (C) disclosing investigatory techniques not otherwise known outside the government; (D) by endangering the life health or property of any person; or (E) disclosing any contents of intercepted wire oral or electronic communications not otherwise disclosed during a trial. (4) Matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute or law. Copyright 2015 Journal Media Group. All rights reserved. On Wed Sep 9 2015 at 8:03 PM LANNYSWERDLOW wrote: > A Cop Killed A White Teen And The AllLivesMatter Crowd Said Nothing > His name was Zachary Hammond. > Headshot of Nick Wing > Nick Wing > Senior Viral Editor The Huffington Post > > Posted: 08042015 07:19 PM EDT Edited: 08052015 01:21 PM EDT > > On the evening of July 26 Zachary Hammond pulled into the parking lot of > a Hardee’s in Seneca South Carolina. Seated next to him was a young woman > who had arranged to meet someone there to sell a bag of weed. It’s unclear > what Hammond knew about the transaction but neither the 19-year-old nor > his passenger had any idea that the buyer was actually an undercover police > officer. Moments later another officer fatally shot Hammond. > > What we know about how Hammond ended up dead in a minor marijuana sting > depends on whom you believe. > > Police say a uniformed officer on hand to support the undercover cop was > approaching Hammond’s vehicle. There’s disagreement about what happened > next. Seneca Police Chief John Covington says Hammond drove the car at the > officer who fearing for his life fired twice into the vehicle shooting > a fatal round into Hammond’s upper torso. Eric Bland a lawyer for > Hammond’s family says that the officer shot Hammond twice from behind and > that an autopsy supports this claim. More than a week after the shooting > Oconee County coroner Karl Addis — one of the few people who should know > for sure — has still not said publicly which direction the bullets came > from. > > Wherever the bullets struck Hammond police say they were fired from near > point-blank range through the open driver’s side window. This detail has > raised particular concern amid a string of police killings in which the > official law enforcement narrative has not always held up. > > As in those previous incidents Hammond’s family is left with painful > questions: Was the car headed directly at the officer or as Hammond’s > father has suggested did the officer shoot because his son was beginning > to flee Was the officer truly in danger Or does the fact that he was so > close to the vehicle when he fired indicate otherwise Will the dashcam > video reportedly turned over to state investigators and requested by local > news outlets offer any answers > > These questions sound familiar because they’ve been asked before. Many of > us have gotten used to asking them. We’ve gotten used to the confusion and > disbelief around a life taken so abruptly used to the frustration of > hearing an officer’s claim that the only choice was to shoot. Police have > released minimal information about Hammond’s killing but with familiar > questions have so far come familiar answers. > > http:www.huffingtonpost.comentryzachary-hammond-police-killing55c0e240e4b0c9fdc75dfda3 > > Nick Wing > Senior Viral Editor The Huffington Post > > Posted: 08042015 07:19 PM EDT Edited: 08052015 01:21 PM EDT > > While aspects of Hammond’s case evoke memories of other police shootings > over the past year one element does not: Hammond was white as is the > still-unidentified officer who shot him. > > When so much national focus has recently been on the police killings of > black Americans Hammond’s race is one reason — though not the only reason > — you may not have heard his story until now. > > Hammond’s whiteness has certainly factored into the response to his death. > No public outcry has questioned the media’s use of family photos that > appear to show a younger boy still wearing braces. No wave of Internet > denizens has scoured the victim’s social media profiles in search of ways > to somehow blame him for his own death. Nobody appears to have called for a > discussion of white-on-white crime. No stories have been written about > whether Hammond’s parents had criminal records or asked if he was ever in > trouble at school. At least not yet. > > These points are no consolation to a dead 19-year-old. But they differ > from the reality of what black people routinely face in similar situations. > > Hammond’s death also highlights a truth many white Americans seem > reluctant to face: that police violence can affect anyone — their white > friends cousins brothers sisters even themselves. Though bad policing > may take a disproportionate toll on communities of color the calls for > reform now being voiced loudest by people of color would benefit all of us. > > Many people in the Black Lives Matter movement have been saying this since > the beginning which is why in the absence of much mainstream media > coverage black Twitter has taken the most active role in making sure > Hammond’s name and story are heard. > > — Doug McVay Editor Drug War Facts Board Member Common Sense for Drug Policy Advisory Board Member Students for Sensible Drug Policy HostProducer Century Of Lies www.drugwarfacts.org www.drugtruth.netcmsviewslatestcol cel:(phone#-removed) twitter: dougmcvay and drugpolicyfacts skype: dougmcvay “Until we are all free we are none of us free.” — Emma Lazarus — You received this message because you are part of the SaveCannabis group. 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