Connect with us


Hearing Set In Zachary Hammond Case




The case of Zachary Hammond – the Upstate teenager shot and killed over a dime bag of marijuana – will head to federal court this week.  At issue?  Whether the Seneca, S.C. police department – whose undercover officer Mark Tiller shot and killed Hammond during a botched drug bust – must release its communications with a public relations firm it hired to mitigate the fallout from the shooting.

This should be a no-brainer …

The police agency is a public body, meaning its communications (with anybody) ought to be subject to public view.  These communications are with a firm that received tax dollars, too.

Of course transparency hasn’t exactly been the strong suit of the local governments charged with handling this case …

S.C. tenth circuit solicitor Chrissy Adams – who declined to press charges against Tiller – belatedly released the incriminating dash-came video from the July 2015 shooting in October.

Why did she wait so long?

Because police apparently hadn’t done a good enough job smearing Hammond’s family – especially his grieving mother, Angie Hammond – and making the 19-year-old out to be a hardened criminal.

We’re not saying Hammond was an angel.  And it’s obvious he shouldn’t have tried to run from the police.  But Tiller’s attempt to play “Rambo” was totally out of line under the circumstances. More to the point, there is absolutely no scenario in which deadly force should have been used over a dime bag of marijuana.  In fact, had legislation pushed by S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts been passed prior to Hammond’s shooting – simple possession of such a small amount of pot would have been an offense on par with a traffic ticket.

This website has been consistent in its call for the full legalization of marijuana and other drugs for medicinal and recreational purposes.  How come?  Because it’s a liberty issue, first and foremost – but also because the “War on Drugs” has been a costly failure on every front.

Well over $1 trillion has been spent since this war was declared in 1971 … and countless lives have been snuffed out far too soon.  For no reason.

Enough is enough …

After all, don’t cops in South Carolina have real crime to fight?

UPDATE: U.S. District Judge Kevin McDonald has ordered the city of Seneca to provide him with “more details” regarding its rationale for refusing to release the documents pertaining to the Hammond case.