The parents of Zachary Hammond, the teen shot and killed by Seneca Police, have filed a lawsuit against the police department.
The lawsuit alleges:
- After Zachary’s body was on the ground, Lt. Tiller went to the trunk of his patrol car, removed something form the vehicle that fit into the palm of his hand and returned the Zachary’s body. Lt. Tiller then rolled Zachary’s body and placed an item on or about his person, and then rolled his body back to its original position on the ground.
- Officer Anthony Moon, and perhaps others raised Zachary’s lifeless hand and gave Zachary’s dead body a celebratory “high five.”
- Claims the focus of the drug bust was on Tori Morton, Hammond’s date. They claim that Zachary was unknown to the Seneca PD for purposes of this supposed “sting” and was admitted not to have been the target that night.
- Clams Zachary never drove toward officers and tried to put car in park.
- Claims officer was running toward their car and telling he’d blow his head off.
The lawsuit is asking for damages against the defendants for Hammond’s pain and suffering, damages for the parents grief and shock and punitive damages for the conduct of the officers.
The City of Seneca has responded with the following statement:
The City of Seneca has cooperated with all investigators in this case and like everyone involved we await its conclusion. The 10th Circuit Solicitor’s Office has not released its investigative findings on the case. The federal investigation has not been completed. This is the same DOJ investigation the attorney who is suing the City of Seneca called for in the first place. It is the same investigation that he says now is ‘delaying the outcome.’ We believe the justice system needs to be allowed to do its job and to comment directly on the matters of the case at this time is hearsay.
Tuesday, Hammond’s mother, Angie Hammond, talked exclusively with 7 On Your Side’s Addie Hampton. She said the lawsuit was a last resort, but they are seeking justice and answers in their son’s case.
“We were hoping that would be further down the road. We just feel like we’ve been kept in the dark for so long and so much has happened that nobody has been forthcoming with and we’ve gotten on our own that we just felt like we had to do this to get subpoena power and hopefully learn the truth,” said Hammond.
She said reading the lawsuit, despite knowing the details beforehand, took her breath away. She said the lack of communication and no definitive timeline on the completion of the investigation or release of dash camera video is trying.
“It made me feel like to them it was a trophy kill. It was my son…If we hadn’t done the autopsy ourselves, we still wouldn’t have known what happened,” said Hammond.