SC

Alan Wilson Punts On Zachary Hammond Shooting

ATTORNEY GENERAL WON’T PROSECUTE POLICE OFFICER WHO KILLED WHITE TEENAGER In the latest example of “establishment injustice,” S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson has refused to prosecute an undercover police officer who gunned down a Seneca, S.C. teenager over ten grams of marijuana earlier this year. Wilson’s office informed state lawmakers of…

ATTORNEY GENERAL WON’T PROSECUTE POLICE OFFICER WHO KILLED WHITE TEENAGER

In the latest example of “establishment injustice,” S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson has refused to prosecute an undercover police officer who gunned down a Seneca, S.C. teenager over ten grams of marijuana earlier this year.

Wilson’s office informed state lawmakers of his decision this week.

This website weighed in on the totally unnecessary death of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond back in August – and again in October when the dash cam video of his shooting was finally released.

Seneca, S.C. police officer Mark Tiller fatally shot Hammond during a hastily arranged drug bust at a Hardees’ parking lot.  Tiller, working undercover at the time, arrived at the fast food restaurant in an effort to entrap 23-year-old Tori Dianna Morton in a marijuana bust.

Morton was in the passenger seat of Hammond’s car at the time of the shooting.

Tiller approached the vehicle with his weapon drawn and fired two shots into the car as Hammond attempted to speed away – this despite the fact police officers are trained not to shoot into moving cars unless they are dealing with a dangerous criminal and have been left with no other option.

Hammond was hit twice in the upper torso and died at the scene.

S.C. tenth circuit solicitor Chrissy Adams declined to press charges against Tiller back in October – and Wilson is now backing her decision by refusing to get involved with the case.

Shameful …

Even more disturbing?  The way this case was handled by local and state law enforcement – which waited for months to release the incriminating dash cam video (after it had leaked excerpts of text messages obtained from Hammond’s phone as part of an apparent smear campaign against the teen and his family).

There’s nothing about this case that isn’t deplorable, people … or the failed “war on drugs” it epitomizes.

Bottom line?  This bust should have never happened.

“Even if you subscribe to the anti-liberty view that recreational pot use should be outlawed, in what universe is entrapping a citizen over ten grams of weed a proper prioritization of law enforcement resources?” we wrote two months ago.

Several state lawmakers – including S.C. Senator Tom Davis of Beaufort and S.C. Rep. Todd Rutherford of Columbia – have been following the Hammond case very closely.  Let’s hope they continue to turn up the heat.

As for Wilson, this is yet another example of his chronic failure to do his job.

***

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55 comments

The Colonel December 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Funny thing about “entrapment” – it’s very hard to pull off if you really “wudant doin nufin”

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We The People December 1, 2015 at 5:15 pm

You are very much wrong, Colonel. It is “pulled off” many times on a daily basis, setting up people, to entice them to commit a crime.

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The Colonel December 1, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Operative term – “you really weren’t doing anything”. If you are enticed to buy dope, guess what, you’re buying dope and like it or not, that is in fact illegal

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We The People December 2, 2015 at 3:51 am

Okay, if you buy dope from someone, both the buyer and seller broke the law. How is the law “above” the law?

Reply
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TroubleBaby December 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm

“justus”

Reply
9" December 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Just Ice

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James R. Inabinet December 1, 2015 at 4:41 pm

While I’m 100% with you on the legalization of marijuana, and I agree this entrapment should have never taken place, the fact is the kid tried to run over a cop who had his gun drawn. At some point, we have to stop blaming cops for defending themselves. Or would you not shoot someone trying to run you over?

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Tazmaniac December 1, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Have you watched the video? I don’t think the Officer’s big toe was ever in peril. That was the worst display of tactics I had ever seen until the Chicago shooting just came out.

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James R. Inabinet December 3, 2015 at 1:38 pm

I have seen the video, I have also been in a similar situation. Let me drive at you with a car while breaking the law. But then I guess you wouldn’t try to defend yourself.

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We The People December 1, 2015 at 5:18 pm

“the kid tried to run over a cop”

There is no way you could watch the video and believe that.

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truthmonger December 2, 2015 at 5:32 am

You obviously only saw what you wanted to see (and didn’t actually pay attention to the video, specifically 00:46-00:50). The kid hit him with the car. If the kid had a bit more angle, the officer would be at best permanently disabled. Kid made a bad choice. Stupid game, stupid prize.

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Patsy McCaffrey Lamas December 1, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Ridiculous. Have you watched the video? He was trying to get around his murderer, not hit him.

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Superfly December 1, 2015 at 4:43 pm

If his name was De’Runnya Hammond instead of Zachary Hammond, charges would have been filed against the police officer by now.

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Terry December 1, 2015 at 5:32 pm

So you believe the Officer should be prosecuted and that racism is the reason he is not being prosecuted?

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Superfly December 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

I think he should be charged and prosecuted. (Whether the officer is guilty of a crime, I don’t know.) Further, that if Hammond was black, the pressure to indict would have been be tremendous, and the Solicitor would have acquiesced and presented an indictment to a Grand Jury.

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9" December 1, 2015 at 5:19 pm

D.A.R.E. : Drugs Are Really Expensive

Reply
me2 December 1, 2015 at 6:16 pm

To The Colonel, Here is some education about legal entrapment and its significance. “A person is ‘entrapped’ when he is induced or persuaded by law enforcement officers or their agents to commit a crime that he had no previous intent to commit; and the law as a matter of policy forbids conviction in such a case…”

“- First, the idea for committing the crime came from the government agents and not from the person accused of the crime.”
True…the offer came from Tori Morton, not Zachary Hammond.

“- Second, the government agents then persuaded or talked the person into committing the crime. Simply giving him the opportunity to commit the crime is not the same as persuading him to commit the crime.”
This is debatable based on the texts with the guilty person being Tori Morton.

“- And third, the person was not ready and willing to commit the crime before the government agents spoke with him.”
There is no evidence that Zachary Hammond actually knew what was happening. The messages were sent by Tori Morton.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, since no crime was committed BEFORE the SHOOTING happened, there was no entrapment, only a dubious search and seizure after SHOOTING someone who was trying to leave the scene. You should be more concerned about police SHOOTING you when you had not committed a crime. This is a textbook case of SHOOT FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER. This will always be wrong.

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Matt December 1, 2015 at 7:59 pm

I agree.

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The Colonel December 2, 2015 at 10:22 am

In ten million years, you would never be able to entrap me in a dope purchase because I don’t smoke dope (I wudant doin nufin). Legally,entrapment is a defense to criminal charges when it is established that the agent or official originated the idea of the crime and induced the accused to engage in it.

Smoking dope in a darkened back parking lot of a Hardees then driving off when told to stop probably wasn’t a good idea but Mr. Hammond didn’t deserve to be shot. The cop acted stupidly, possibly even criminally.

But what’s the real bottom line – don’t do stupid stuff and you won’t get shot. Chis Rock explains it best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQLCF4Tiqg4

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My2cents December 2, 2015 at 10:43 am

Great video, and definitely some truth there.

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TroubleBaby December 2, 2015 at 10:46 am

“driving off when told to stop by a police officer with a gun probably wasn’t a good idea but Mr. Hammond didn’t deserve to be shot.”

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Winner!

Kudos to you.

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9" December 2, 2015 at 12:44 pm

You’re probably right,but a good looking guy like you? ‘Sonny’ Clark would have found a way…

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Timmy December 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm

I am disappointed with Wilson. He could have been a star but ego and blind ambition have taken control of him.

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Speak D Truth December 1, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Anyone that has followed this story closely knows that Roof had a history of drug use and running from the cops. His mother was aware of his drug use and running from the cops. She did warn him that only bad could come from this but did little to stop his behavior. Morton was from a known drug family. Given that Roof was a user, that there was cocaine found on him, the texts were sent from his phone, and that he associated with Morton it is difficult to believe that he was not aware of what was happening. Add to that the fact that he was driving the car and there had to be some explanation for why they were meeting someone at Hardees. The cocaine that they were there too sell was found on his person. Whether or not Tiller’s life was in danger is debatable. What is not debatable is that if Hammond had not tried to flee he would still be alive. He was a victim of his own reckless lifestyle and poor decisions.

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Town Crier December 1, 2015 at 10:43 pm

The victim’s last name is Hammond, not Roof…

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Speak D Truth December 2, 2015 at 9:09 am

My bad. I was reading another article just before this one.

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southmauldin December 2, 2015 at 9:43 am

This is the post everyone who doesn’t know what happened should read. He was a little thug and she was a drug dealing piece of crap.

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My2cents December 2, 2015 at 10:34 am

I won’t debate those points, and agree Hammond should have stopped. I dont believe the officers life wss ever in danger except when, he himself chose to put his body in harms way. Regardleds, there’s another problem that is yet to be addressed, however. That is, the gross negligence by Tiller to follow the procedures that he is expected to follow. One could just as easily argue that had he followed the required procedure, would never have been in danger and this shooting may have never happened. As taxpayers spend a lot of money to train these professionals, is he not going to be held accountable in any way for not doing so? Do you also agree that is unacceptable? Does it not atleast warrant a formal reprimand, demotion, termination,..,…anything? Nothing? Then why do we even have procedures and pay for training when they are just going to be disregarded and no consequences for doing so?

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Speak D Truth December 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Tiller’s job, as are all cops job, is to put his life in danger to enforce the law. If he violated policies and procedures then those were not criminal acts. They are issues that would be dealt with administratively.

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Mike at the Beach December 1, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Hey Perry Mason…back to law school for you!

“…in an effort to entrap 23-year-old Tori Dianna Morton in a marijuana bust.”

A little research on the actual legal definition of “entrapment” (and the kajillions of pages of supporting case law) would do you well. You can, of course, disagree with MJ laws all you like, but you don’t get to change American jurisprudence to fit your reality.

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me2 December 2, 2015 at 8:12 am

The Colonel was inferring that it was fine to entrap (when no had transaction occurred) to justify Hammond’s shooting. That is incorrect. So what you are saying is that there is kajillions of case law pages to support “entrapment” to a crime that never happened before the shooting, entrap the person who is the passenger in the car, then shoot the driver when there is no evidence to support that he knew what she was doing (never mind the excessive force issue for fleeing the scene), ask questions later, and that is fine from a legal standpoint? BTW, That is the legal definition. Perhaps you could enlighten us.

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Mike at the Beach December 2, 2015 at 8:47 am

I was quoting the piece, not the COL. Further, I made absolutely no reference to the use of force, which is a wholly separate issue. Will just doesn’t like dope enforcement so he calls any undercover enforcement entrapment, which is simply wrong.

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nitrat December 1, 2015 at 8:54 pm

“Wilson’s office informed state lawmakers of his decision this week.”

Certainly sounds grossly inappropriate…

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erneba December 1, 2015 at 9:59 pm

I usually come down on the side of the police when incidents such as this occur, but after watching the video, it is clear the officer overreacted. This encounter reeks of malfeasance on behalf of the officer.
How an officer could employ such tactics during a routine “drug bust” indicates a lack of training and/or judgement. There is no excuse for using that much force to apprehend someone caught committing a non-violent crime.

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Patricia williams December 2, 2015 at 3:17 am

This is not about that crappy little amount of pot. Its about a psycho cop killing an unarmed boy by shooting him from behind. Deplorable. He needs to be hanged! Looks like Wilson has failed in hus duty. Kick him out…he’s apparently useless!

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truthmonger December 2, 2015 at 5:34 am

You are one sick and deluded bitch, Patricia.

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Patsy McCaffrey Lamas December 2, 2015 at 8:04 am

Paycho cop puts it too lightly, this guy is a gun happy murdering pig. And, I’m not against police, when they’re not going bad. There are many many good police officers out there. This guy is definitely not one of them.

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SadAndStupid December 2, 2015 at 6:11 am

Bad cop. No doughnut. Human life is worth so little here.

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Your Average Justus System December 2, 2015 at 9:39 am

Oh no, we aren’t going to touch the bad cop. He acted in self defense.

What’s that? Shit, the damn judge made us release the video. Fuck, now we have to press murder charges.

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My2cents December 2, 2015 at 10:41 am

Still no word from the FED investigation….must have their hands full with Chicago and Baltimore. …and Dothan GA is on their radar now.

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Lotta Space On This December 2, 2015 at 10:59 am

Was Hammond Folk’s supplier or something?

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Manray9 December 2, 2015 at 11:30 am

The cops should expend close to zero resources on pot busts. Stop the failed War on Drugs. Leave behind the prohibitionist mentality and public money will be saved and lives not needlessly lost.

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Speak D Truth December 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm

How about the cocaine that was found on his body?

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Manray9 December 2, 2015 at 10:37 pm

I was a pot bust gone bad. Should have never happened.

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Speak D Truth December 3, 2015 at 6:02 am

He had cocaine on him.

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Manray9 December 3, 2015 at 10:52 am

Which wasn’t known until after he was dead.

Speak D Truth December 3, 2015 at 7:59 pm

Everyone that defends Hammond seems to try and exclude the facts about the cocaine and his criminal history.

Manray9 December 3, 2015 at 11:46 pm

It’s irrelevant. He didn’t deserve to be shot to death in a botched pot bust. Nothing, especially evidence developed after the fact, justifies killing someone in a pot bust.

Speak D Truth December 4, 2015 at 7:56 pm

It is relevant because if charges had been brought against Tiller then Hammond’s past acts of DUI, running from the cops, and other acts of violence would have been used as evidence by the defense to show that Hammond routinely acted without due regard for the lives of others. There would have been probative value for the jury to consider because his past acts would speak toward his frame of mind at the time that this incident occurred. Whether or not Hammond intended to harm Tiller is irrelevant. The question would be whether or not Tiller had reason to be in fear of his life. The video is inconclusive at best. Tiller had no obligation to retreat, in fact doing so would have been cowardice on his part.

ELCID December 2, 2015 at 1:55 pm

The FBI and the Federal Attorney General need to investigate this case.
Allen Wilson’s office is just another extension of the corrupt government that seems to pervade South Carolina. Wilson, like his dad, is just another one of the clan.

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Buford T. Justice December 2, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Watch the video. The Cop’s story is bullshit. I doubt the kid even knew he was a cop. He did not try to run over the Cop. Welcome to the Police State.

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Wayne Sims December 5, 2015 at 9:07 pm

Alan Wilson can be credited
with making the South Carolina state government an accessory to the
murder of Zachary Hammond. Moral right and wrong has no regard for legal technicalities or for politically expedient official
decisions. It depends only on what the truth is.

Look
at the dashcam video showing the shooting of Zachary Hammond. There you
see a murder being done by a police officer. A murder under color of
law is still a murder. A murder that has gone officially unrecognized as
such is a murder, nonetheless.

I say it again: watch the dashcam video, which
the SC State Law Enforcement Division kept FOUO for three months. Hear
Lt. Mark Tiller scream an obscene death-threat at Zachary Hammond, and
watch as he carries it out in accompaniment with the threat’s final two
words.

Mark Tiller shouted at Zachary Hammond: “I’m going to shoot your f***ing a**!”

That’s “f***ing” (pow), “a**” (pow). And Zachary was dead.

The
threat, although it is very clear on the dashcam video’s audio track,
went completely unacknowledged by Solicitor Chrissy Adams. Why? Oh,
probably because it gives insight into Lt. Tiller’s frame of mind and
points to the true reason he killed an unarmed 19-year-old driver.

The
truth is (watch the video) that Zachary Hammond did nothing with the
intention of hurting Mark Tiller. Certain people have claimed to the
contrary. They are lying.

The truth is (watch the
video) that Mark Tiller was never in any mortal danger as the result of
the movement of Hammond’s car. Several persons have alleged otherwise.
They are lying.

The government of the State of South
Carolina had a chance to make things right. Instead, it became fully
complicit in the murder of Zachary Hammond on 1 December 2015, when SC
Attorney General Alan Wilson refused to review the case against Seneca
police lieutenant Mark Tiller. The executive authority of that state has
become, corporately, an accessory after the fact to whatever crime
Tiller committed by shooting Hammond.

This degree of
political corruption isn’t unheard of. The world saw too much of it in
the 20th century in countries under Communist rule. But now the disease
of police state tyranny has come to South Carolina. What once afflicted
East Europe, Russia, and Ukraine is loose in America.

Wilson’s
argument that “second-guessing” a local prosecutor would “set a
dangerous precedent” is vapid nonsense. It was mere political noise
aimed at the mentally mediocre majority. Although it is true that a
person cannot be (and should not be) TRIED TWICE for the same offense,
there is nothing wrong with a state attorney general prosecuting a case
that was declined by a local solicitor.

“There can
be but one prosecutor,” said Wilson. Oh? Even if that’s correct, there
only NEEDED to be one prosecutor. Chrissy Adams truantly decided not to
be that one. And then Wilson followed suit. There never was any hazard
of there being more than one prosecutor. As it is, the number of
prosecutors is zero, still awaiting a first.

Checking
the decisions made by lower authorities is what higher authorities are
supposed to do. It is the primary reason for the higher authority’s
existence. Just as, in the judicial branch, higher courts review
decisions made by lower ones, so likewise are higher officials in the
executive branch supposed to serve as watchdogs for malfeasance and
mistakes made by the occupants of lesser offices.

When
a higher authority willfully neglects his proper function and defines
its exercise as “dangerous,” he’s become a serious problem and a
collaborator in mischief. Whereas it is certainly true that authority
might initiate mischief with an abusive exercise of power, it is also
possible for someone in authority to join in mischief started by someone
else—and do so tacitly, by refusing to do what comes his way ex
officio, by turning a blind eye.

That is what Alan Wilson did, in the case of the shooting of Zachary Hammond.

I
don’t suggest that Wilson has never done anything right. I’m sure he
has. But his refusal to re-open and review the case against Mark Tiller
was the wrong decision. Maybe Wilson had recently scraped the bottom of
his barrel of political courage.

Reply

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