SC

Settlement Reached In Zachary Hammond Shooting

FAMILY TO RECEIVE $2.1 MILLION, FOREGO FUTURE LITIGATION The town of Seneca, S.C. will pay the family of Zachary Hammond $2.1 million to settle matters related to the 19-year-old’s death at the hands of an undercover cop last summer. Hammond was shot and killed during a botched drug bust on July…

FAMILY TO RECEIVE $2.1 MILLION, FOREGO FUTURE LITIGATION

The town of Seneca, S.C. will pay the family of Zachary Hammond $2.1 million to settle matters related to the 19-year-old’s death at the hands of an undercover cop last summer.

Hammond was shot and killed during a botched drug bust on July 26 – gunned down over what amounted to a dime bag of marijuana.  The case drew considerable media attention – which turned to outrage when the local solicitor, Chrissy Adams, declined to prosecute the officer who fired the shots, lieutenant Mark Tiller.

Obviously we disagreed with Adams’ decision … as did most people who watched the dash cam video of Hammond’s shooting.

Anyway, here’s the statement announcing the settlement …

The family of Zachary Hammond, along with the City of Seneca, the Seneca Police Department, Chief John Covington and Lt. Mark Tiller are hereby announcing that the civil litigation involving the death of Zachary Hammond has settled for total payments to the Estate of Zachary Hammond in the amount of $2,150,000.00.  There will be no further legal proceedings between the parties.  Rather than endure a lengthy litigation process, both parties agree that an early resolution will allow a platform for healing for the Hammond family and the City of Seneca that is outside the spotlight of litigation.

Obviously we’re glad the Hammond family has been compensated for their loss.  They deserve it.  But the bigger problem – kids getting shot for pot – still lingers.

“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 last fall in relation to this case.

While we await the full legalization of all drugs, we support efforts by S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts (a former police officer) to decriminalize the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana.

***

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88 comments

Rocky Verdad March 29, 2016 at 8:32 pm

That was one danged expensive dime bag for little Seneca.

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()()()()()() March 29, 2016 at 9:05 pm

low ball settlement …. other cases, 5 to 10 million … jury cases as much as 30 million + punitive damages. Their lawyers is pretty shitty it seems.

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K.Mann March 29, 2016 at 9:18 pm

That’s a good settlement considering the formula that they use tl award damages. (Lifetime earnings, suffering, loss of company but no spouse & no family to support). Litigating would be time-consuming, painful for the family and involve risks based on jury selection etc. There’s no need to cast aspersions on their counsel.

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(not so much) fun with numbers March 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm

I wouldn’t second guess anyone in this situation, but it is interesting to compare this with the $6.5M to Walter Scott’s family. Both men summarily executed for fleeing the police, but with 3 times as much going to the family of the 50 year old that had already financially abandoned his family. Hammond actually could have pretty easily earned $2.1M over his lifetime, whereas I’m guessing Scott might have been in the red once you factor in the government resources that likely would have been spent repeatedly adjudicating and incarcerating him.

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Mike at the Beach March 29, 2016 at 11:47 pm

I see your earnings logic, but these cases are not that similar. Scott was calmly and plainly shot in the back, and there’s seemingly irrefutable evidence to that effect. The kid’s case was nowhere nearly as plainly defined, and (in the parlance of the shysters), Scott was a “better victim” than Hammond. If the case is at all shaky, $2.1 million in hand without having to step into a courtroom is a good day.

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true blue March 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm

Very sad, these parents raised him from babyhood and where not able to give him real values that stuck with him……, and now they are to benefit financially from his death, maybe they will give the money to charity to help other boys with addictions, after the lawyers fees and the funeral expenses the rest is “blood money”. Will come to no good, the money will not bring their son back and will make them forever think where they went wrong. Will see what they do. It will say a lot about them and the values they raised their son with.

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Mark March 29, 2016 at 9:17 pm

It is none of your business what they do with that money. They have handled the situation as they see fit. How about you shut on and mind your own business.

Nothing worse than a know it all asshole.

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a face in the crowd March 29, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Had the prosecutor done her job, maybe the parents would not have needed to file a civil suit to get answers.

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Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:40 am

“and now they are to benefit financially from his death”

You are a sick person. No amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a child.

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Guest March 30, 2016 at 9:31 am

Liberals advocate for killing the unborn as their ‘religion’.They don’t value the sanctity of the human life.How could they? This poor boy ended as nothing but a payday for these failed parents.

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Flip March 30, 2016 at 9:36 am

I am still praying for you Pogo.

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Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:44 am

The parents are probably as worthless as their kid.

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mamatiger92 March 30, 2016 at 10:14 am

Damn, I hate these kind of posts. Do you know the parents? Are you a parent yourself? Have you ever known really good parents who raise bad kids? Cause, I sure have.

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Cops shooting feeling people March 29, 2016 at 9:14 pm

The taxpayers yet again suffer for government worker incompetence.

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Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:50 am

If only the state could spend $2.1 million and keep cops from shooting small time drug offenders.

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Nölff March 29, 2016 at 9:31 pm

Wow. Just wow.
I do think the cop was out of line, but wow.
I didn’t expect that.

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Tazmaniac March 30, 2016 at 7:27 am

Having had a certain amount of Police training and seeing how poorly that Officer performed even at standards of the 80s, I felt the Cop was wrong. Mike At The Beach correctly pointed out the standard of reasonable action with all ties going to the Officer, or something to that effect. The kid failed the parents to be sure but he sure left them a nice memory.

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Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:38 am

You know what would be really meaningful? Changing the law so that cops don’t have a reason to harass let alone shoot a kid over a dime bag of pot.

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Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:41 am

What’s your cut-off, a dime bag of pot, a bale of pot, a trunk load of heroin, a hit of PCP? The fact that he was selling and not consuming those drugs should be your concern.

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Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:42 am

No amount of marijuana justifies taking someone’s life. Marijuana is not that hard of a drug in the grand scheme of things.

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Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:43 am

So if someone wants to sell pounds of it out of their car to your kids, you don’t have an issue with it. No worse than a parking ticket to your dumb ass.

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Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:45 am

I’d have a problem with my kids buying weed if they were underage. Just like I’d have a problem with my kids buying alcohol if they were underage.

Once they are 21, or really even 18, they are old enough to make their own decisions.

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

What if the seller is underage?

Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:49 am

I think weed and alcohol are similar in nature so they should have the same laws. Someone selling weed underage would be treated like someone selling alcohol underage.

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:12 am

You mean as in alcohol?

Tazmaniac March 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

To a degree, I agree with you. Here is the rub though, pro legal drugs folks want the freedom to be one way. Some 18 year old kid decides to lay around and smoke pot or drink all day and society isn’t free to let his ass suffer the consequences. We will feed him and his illegitimate offspring for the rest of their shitty lives. True freedom involves getting out of the way when you decide to stand on the railroad tracks.

Flip March 30, 2016 at 9:02 am

Hate to break it to you but a lot of very successful people smoked weed at one point in their lives, if they don’t currently do so.

I guess in twenty years we will see if Colorado or Washington suffers any ill effects of legalization. To be honest though the characterizations of weed smokers isn’t much different than how prohibitionists labeled alcohol drinkers.

Tazmaniac March 30, 2016 at 9:04 am

Okay so let’s only tax the successful dope smokers for the welfare for hundreds of thousands if not millions of sorry ass unproductive leeches.

Flip March 30, 2016 at 9:09 am

I don’t believe weed is responsible for people being lazy or unsuccessful.

CorruptionInColumbia March 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

I believe it was “South Mauldin” or maybe another of our Upstate regulars who shared that he was known to traffic in stuff much “harder” than just pot, had led police on high speed chases in weeks prior to the shooting, and had stuff in his cell phone indicating that his chosen career path was to be a major drug dealer in that area.

Who says, “crime doesn’t pay”? His folks raised a right little thug and now they’ve hit the trailer park lottery.

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Rocky Verdad March 30, 2016 at 9:23 am

Yeah, but—— it wasn’t like you couldn’t catch him later. Seneca aint’ Manhatten.

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CorruptionInColumbia March 30, 2016 at 9:42 am

Apparently though, he had outrun them on more than one occasion in the weeks leading up to the shooting. I haven’t read that this had anything to do with the shooting, but I do partially base my lack of concern for his departure on the danger he presented to the community.

Trumpism March 30, 2016 at 9:27 am

Yes they have-hit the lottery.Flip and Rocky cheered the looting in Ferguson and Baltimore as well.They advocate for lawlessness as a way to achieve their means as liberals-anarchy and the destruction of the rule of law in our communities.

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Flip March 30, 2016 at 9:53 am

Nope, I thought the rioters and looters in Ferguson were doing a disservice to those who wanted a fair trial to take place.

You did support Trump’s thug assaulting that poor reporter though.

Trumpism March 30, 2016 at 10:42 am

Looking at the video she got around the secret service and put her hands on Trump with a weapon in her hands-a pen.

Thank God his campaign manager protected him.

CorruptionInColumbia March 30, 2016 at 11:18 am

People kept saying the object in her hand looked like a pen. I couldn’t really tell. I’ve had pens that looked like bees, pens that looked like turds (really), pens that were made from feathers, etc, but that doesn’t look like any pen I ever saw.

Of course, they also now make “tactical pens”, designed to inflict serious bodily injury if used as a spike. I may or may not have one of those. :-) If the Donald was under Secret Service protection at that moment, I hope they tighten up on his security a bit. I know they have to walk a fine wire in protecting a VIP and not offending family, friends, or supporters. Still, I hope they stay vigilant. Too many jerks out there advocating harm to him and seemingly going unchallenged about it.

Flip March 30, 2016 at 1:32 pm

“with a weapon in her hands-a pen.”

LMAO!!! You sure are paranoid! Must be those small, uh, hands that makes you feel so insecure right? LMAO!!!

Careful, I hear ISIS bought a whole 20 pack of pens!

southmauldin March 30, 2016 at 11:02 am

You are correct. The little bastard’s parents, who knew of his lawbreaking activities, just hit the lottery. He sure was worth more dead than alive, that’s for sure. Which is sad if you think about it.

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CorruptionInColumbia March 30, 2016 at 11:20 am

Thank you for the clarification once again, SouthMauldin!

bill March 30, 2016 at 9:23 am

My guess is that he sells drugs and why he is so defensive.

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Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:40 am

That’s bullshit, this little drug dealing punk got what he deserved. Maybe the family will now take that money and move the fuck away.

Will, why does the family deserve it? Do you not have a problem with drug dealers in your neighborhood selling to your kids?

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Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:41 am

Quickest way to eliminating drug dealers is to make what they are selling legal.

Banning alcohol also generated organized crime.

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Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:42 am

So you think legalizing drugs is the solution. You don’t have a problem with some piece of shit selling “legal” products (according to you) to your kids.

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Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:44 am

Pot isn’t going to ruin my kids. Crack, heroin, PCP, meth might screw them up. Pot will just make them lazy and eat doritos for a little while.

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Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:45 am

What you fail to understand, currently pot is illegal. Your opinion doesn’t mean a damn thing, legal is legal, illegal is illegal.

Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:47 am

It’s legal in two states. I hope more follow in their footsteps.

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

I’ve lived in one of the two states, it’s a liberal shithole. The only thing positive in the state is the scenery.

Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:59 am
Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 9:00 am

And The Dude is typical of the laziness you’ll find common among the people you’re defending.

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:02 am

The universe equates laziness with efficiency.

Flip March 30, 2016 at 9:03 am

And apparently you are too angry of an individual to take a small joke. Calm down, life is too short to spend it constantly mad at things.

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 9:03 am

Don’t you have a highway rest area bathroom stall to occupy?

Flip March 30, 2016 at 9:06 am

Bless your heart.

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 9:35 am

Who the fuck are you, Nikki Haley?

Flip March 30, 2016 at 9:37 am

No, not a Nikki Haley fan other than that she got rid of the confederate flag.

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:02 am

I’ve lived in one of the two states, it’s a liberal shithole. The only thing positive in the state is the scenery.
——-
I’m sure that was true as long as you were in the state.

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 9:03 am

Yeah, I guess I do have that much influence over the actions and political views of millions of people. I should have run for governor while I was there.

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:03 am

Do you actually believe the governor has any effect over millions of people?

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 9:04 am

Shut the fuck up Donnie!!!

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:05 am

Aww… you really like me!

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 9:06 am

Like and tolerate are two separate things.

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:07 am

Like I’ve always said… generous to a fault.

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:01 am

legal is legal, illegal is illegal.
——–
where did you learn that? Elementary school during Reagan’s term?

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 9:01 am

Who are you, Bill Clinton?

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:04 am

I’m unworthy even to carry his shoes.

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 9:05 am

You’ll find them under some fat chick’s bed.

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:06 am

Sex is a beautiful thing…. if you do it right.

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 9:34 am

Not when they participant’s physical features could make a buzzard puke.

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 8:19 pm

looks bad… feels good

CorruptionInColumbia March 30, 2016 at 8:49 am

Someone from the Upstate, apparently with insider info, posted a while back that he was also trafficking in those things, too. It just happened that when he died, he only had the pot.

Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:51 am

Maybe he was trafficking in those things. I’d still rather him have his day in court tried by a jury of his peers.

No amount of drug trafficking would result in a death penalty mind you.

CorruptionInColumbia March 30, 2016 at 8:52 am

Well, he kinda had a hand in the decision making process with regard to his fate.

Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:55 am

From FITS earlier article: “It is clearly, clearly from the back,” Bland told The Greenville News, citing autopsy photos. “It is physically impossible for him to be trying to flee or run over the officer that shot him.”

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:58 am

But he sure the the fuck tried now didn’t he. Good shoot.

Flip March 30, 2016 at 8:58 am

You have a lot of hatred in your heart. I will pray for you.

Squishy123 March 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

Go suck a dick.

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:11 am

Your prescription seems to encourage the selection of poor alternatives to logical thought. I’d say something is missing from your world view.

CorruptionInColumbia March 30, 2016 at 9:04 am

Everyone has an opinion regarding justified or not in this case. I may not be 100% sure it was right, but I am not even 50% sure the cop was absolutely in the wrong, therefore I would err on the side of caution and in favor of the cop.

Had little Zachary not chosen to be a thug, run from the cops, etc, he would likely be with us today. Who knows, had the cops not taken him out, he may have eventually killed an innocent person or persons while running from the cops, like the thugs running from Cayce PD killed a much beloved State Government employee a few years ago.

You and everyone else are entitled to your opinions as I am to mine. Me personally, I don’t see another thug-in-training gone as a loss to the world.

“And that’s all I have to say about that.”

euwe max March 30, 2016 at 9:00 am

The piece of shit that sells “legal” products to me and my family don’t give a fuck about anything but the money they make substituting drugs for healthy living.

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euwe max March 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

The drug dealers in my neighborhood have offices.

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21stconfed(L) March 30, 2016 at 9:49 am

I hope they fund some candidate to take down crissy adams. she is up this year. in her district and I am not voting for her.

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CNSYD March 30, 2016 at 10:26 am

I guess you are not as she is not running for reelection.

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21stconfed March 30, 2016 at 8:27 pm

I guess you are uninformed. She won office in 04, took office 05./it’s a 4 year term. Unless her cancer is keeping her from running she is up.

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gm5425 March 30, 2016 at 12:30 pm

I watched the video of this incident repeatedly. I suppose it can be argued either way, whether the officer would be justified to use deadly force in this situation. But, having the authority to do something and for it to be justified, doesn’t always mean it’s the right thing to do. Video can be deceiving, but It appears that the officer could have stepped back from the vehicle and been out of harms way. However, I wasn’t on the scene or experiencing what the officer was going through. However, it’s okay to take evasive action from a dangerous situation. It’s not necessary to always go in with guns blazing. Since this was apparently a planned operation, the officer should have known the age of the victim and how much/little marijuana was involved. I understand that an officer has a mere second or two to make the decision to use deadly force and it’s an extremely difficult thing to do. But, I believe everyone involved in such an operation should take the time in advance, to think through how he would respond in the event things don’t go as planned? Is deadly force the only way, just because it would be justified? Before you all respond that I’m some bleeding heart liberal. I’m retired after 30 years of service with a criminal justice agency. During my years of service, I conducted nearly 200 use of force investigations. I understand that an officer is authorized to utilize the amount of force necessary to protect himself or a 3rd person from physical harm or death. I also understand how difficult it is to make the correct decision in the blink of an eye. I sometimes wonder though if officers in small town police departments receive sufficient training in the use of force.

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LouieBuoy March 31, 2016 at 2:46 pm

In my opinion, no way this kid deserved to die at the hands of this plan-clothes cop. If the kid was so well known for drug dealing, then why wasn’t he jail already? Same old line: “were building a bigger case”? If he was so well known, then let him drive away, and pick him up later. Charge him with whatever you want; but not shoot the kid for slowly driving away from a strange scary dude with a gun. The cop should be charged for manslaughter! The family will never be made whole for their loss. If he was a minority would they have been paid more? At the least, a whole lot more folks would have cared that this ever happened – ie marching in the streets etc. Stupid drug dealing white kids lives matter too!

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Support All Cops April 1, 2016 at 3:12 am

Blue Lives Matter, the thug endangered the life of a cop. Sorry, not sorry.

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LouieBuoy April 1, 2016 at 11:07 am

Support the Blues sure, and surely forgive them when they make a mistake only if they own up to it. I guess texting drivers should be shot on sight based on your blue lives endangerment hypothesis. Heck blue smurfs are tougher and a lot smarter than your opinion of this Blue. I know cops in some of the largest cities in the world, and have never once fired their weapon.

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Slartibartfast April 1, 2016 at 11:45 pm

How about legalizing the free purchase of Sudafed (pseudoephedrin hcl) without having to beg a pharmacist. If somebody wants to blow himself up trying to turn it, so much the better. And while we’re at it, why do we have to have Doctor’s prescriptions at all? They used to be suggestions. Now, they’re a legal frickin’ document. People have the right to destroy themselves with drugs just as much as they have the right to ride motorcycles without wearing a helmet – often with the same result. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to correct a physician’s Rx – so much for the “they know better” argument. Legislators LOVE the medical business, and make pretty laws to make us all be better. But in reality, for the most part, government is a mental illness which can only end with the death of the patient!

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