Family Attorney: No Outrage When Unarmed Shooting Victim Is White

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On July 26 unarmed Zachary Hammond was shot and killed by a police officer in Seneca, South Carolina and there has not been one peep of public outrage or demonstration.

Hammond family attorney Eric Bland says he believes the lack of outrage is tied to the fact that Hammond was white rather than black.

On the night that 19-year-old Hammond was shot his date, 23-year-old Tori Morton, was arrested for possession of marijuana. Days after the shooting Greenville Online reported that Hammond was killed in a “drug sting”–the sting that resulted in Morton’s arrest.

Seneca Police Chief John Covington said an “officer approached the car with his gun drawn, as is common practice in making narcotics arrests.” A drug buy had been “arranged…to lure Morton into the parking lot of Hardee’s restaurant on U.S. 123” and “the officer executed a search warrant and found a bag of marijuana in the car.” But the incident report makes no mention of the shooting of Hammond.

According to The Washington Post, Hammond attorney Bland suggests that is because things were not as they were described as being.

For example, after Hammond’s death the officer who shot him said he did so in self-defense because Hammond was driving at him with his car. Bland attempts to counter this scenario by offering the results of a private autopsy showing Hammond was shot twice from behind–not in front–leading the family to believe the officer that shot Hammond could not have been in fear that Hammond was trying to run him down.

Neither side commented on whether Hammond’s car was in drive or reverse for the alleged run down.

Bland says there should be public outcry, and ultimately suggests Hammond’s race has tampered public response to this point.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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