The family of a Seneca teen shot and killed by a cop last month is now calling on the feds to get involved.
Attorneys for Zachary Hammond’s family say federal authorities need to give this case the same treatment as they have other police shootings of black men in the past year.
It’s not because they don’t trust SLED or the Solicitor Crissy Adams, but they claim because Zach was white, this case is looked at differently.
“You’re supposed to be able to trust your police department. We don’t anymore. We just want somebody outside to take a look at this that doesn’t have any bias,” said mother, Angie Hammond, Tuesday.
In a statement from their attorney, Eric Bland, he says “every death of an unarmed teen, regardless of color, strips a piece of our dignity and humanity as a society” and they hope for the same level of “intensity and thoroughness” for Zach’s case.
Meanwhile, another rally was held Tuesday, calling for justice in this case.
Joni smith was driving home when she heard the cries of protestors. She pulled over, grabbing a sign reading “Justice for Zach” and joined the small rally happening just feet from the Seneca Hardees where Hammond died last month.
“I’m a mother and this hits very close to home for me. This could have been my son,” said Smith.
In the days and weeks since Hammond was shot by Lt. Mike tiller during a minor marijuana sting, the family says they aren’t getting any answers.
Seneca police maintain the shooting was self defense, saying Tiller fired when Hammond drove the car towards him. The autopsy shows Hammond was hit in the back and side, which Hammond’s attorneys say debunks the department claims. Lt Tiller is on administrative leave while the state Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigates.
Activist Jack Logan has taken special interest in this case, calling for police tactic reform. He welcomes the Justice Department’s involvement, saying skin color doesn’t matter.
“Zach’s blood is the same color as Michael Brown’s blood, the same color as Trayvon Martin’s blood and all the rest of African American’s who’ve been killed by gun violence,” said Logan.
The Seneca Police Department has said they will not be releasing any further statements during the SLED investigation.
A rally for Zach is scheduled for noon on Saturday at Norton Thompson Park in Seneca.